Somalia launches strategy to curb violent extremism

MOGADISHU, Oct. 10 — Somalia on Sunday launched a strategy to help
prevent and counter violent extremism which is a serious threat to
stability in the Horn of Africa nation.

A joint statement issued after a meeting that brought together Somali
federal and state authorities together with the international community
said participants on a support and coordination mechanism put in operation
the national strategy to prevent and counter violent extremism. The
strategy was launched in Mogadishu by the Somali Deputy Prime Minister,
Mahdi Mohamed Guled, who hailed the launch as a milestone in the country’s
efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism in order to help attain a
sustainable peace for the country. He said the strategy, also referred to
as ‘Strand 4’, is part of the National Security Architecture (NSA), which
was endorsed by Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and the
presidents of the federal member states in April.

The NSA aims to tackle violent extremism and address wide ranging issues
causing conflict and insecurity in Somalia. The objectives of the Strand 4
which is co-chaired by the Office of the Prime Minister and the Swedish
Embassy is for conflicts to be addressed politically, as opposed to through
violence. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for
Somalia, Michael Keating stressed on the need to address the drivers of
violent extremism and called for a multi-pronged approach to effectively
tackle insecurity. “If we only focus on the military aspect on insecurity
we will not succeed. I am just thrilled that we have come together to look
at how prevention and countering of violent extremism can help address some
of these issues,” the UN envoy said.

Participants agreed at the meeting that key government agencies and federal
member states appoint focal point persons to drive the process and come up
with a plan of action ahead of the follow-up meeting to the London
Conference, scheduled for December. Swedish Ambassador to Somalia Andreas
von Uexküll signed the terms of reference spelling out the roles,
responsibilities, managerial and operational procedures of Strand 4.
Uexküll observed that violent extremism is widespread, affecting not only
Somalia but also many other countries and called for concerted efforts in
tackling this phenomenon.”We also need to connect our work on human rights,
security, rule of law and justice. Sustainable solutions can only be
achieved if we address our efforts for youth, inclusion and economic
recovery,” he added. – XINHUA