Somalia

AMISOM and Civil Society Organizations meet to prepare for 2020/21 elections

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Mogadishu, 22 November—A technical preparatory meeting organized by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Thursday in Mogadishu brought together AMISOM and Somali Civil Society Organizations (CSO) to develop a work plan ahead of the 2020/21 elections.

Convened by AMISOM’s Political Unit and the Protection, Human Rights and Protection Group (PHRG) the meeting also discussed activities undertaken by AMISOM’s military, police and civilian components in the areas of early recovery, stabilization, political reconciliation, human rights, gender and protection.

Adebayo Kareem, AMISOM’s Head of the Protection, Human Rights and Gender Office said meeting with the CSOs was an important step of sharing information with the Somalis.

“The CSOs are key to our deliberations in the several areas including civil-military coordination, police recruitment and vetting, gender issues, human rights, quick impact projects and humanitarian support. We need the understanding of the CSOs because they are very close to the people,” Adebayo said.

Adebayo said they had discussed how AMISOM, with the involvement of its various components, was going to support Somalia during the upcoming 2020/2021 elections.

Present at the meeting were Abdul Diabagate, the Head of the AMISOM Humanitarian Liaison Unit, Assistant Commissioner of Police Maxwell Chikunguru, the AMISOM Police Reforms, Restructuring, and Development Coordinator, Niozima John, the AMISOM deputy CIMIC officers and Fadil Karar, the AMISOM civil affairs officer.

AMISOM maintains a close working relationship with CSOs in Somalia through monthly technical meetings as well as quarterly strategic events involving senior officials of the mission. The civilian component of AMISOM actively works with civil society organizations in the protection of human rights and vulnerable groups, promoting inclusive politics, preventing and countering violent extremism, stabilization and early recovery as well as rehabilitation of disengaged combatants.

The Chairperson of Women, Education and Voicing Entrepreneurship (WEAVE), Asli Ismail Duale, said the civil society organizations are crucial in identifying the needs of the population to properly channel support to where it is needed most, including in liberated areas. She said the civil society organizations were developing a plan of activities to be undertaken in the areas of humanitarian intervention, civic education and public awareness campaigns ahead of the upcoming national elections.

“Crucial tasks lie ahead of us in 2020 especially on awareness campaigns on the elections targeting the youth and women on how they should prepare for the elections. As you know, the elections will fundamentally introduce a shift from 4.5 clan power sharing formula towards one-person-one vote and a multiparty political system,” Asli emphasised.