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AMISOM builds leadership capacity of young Somali leaders in post-conflict era

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KAMPALA – A group of Somali leaders have benefitted from an intensive five-day leadership skills development course, aimed at improving their competencies in leadership.

The course, held at the National Farmers Leadership Centre in Mpigi district, in Uganda, familiarized the participants who are members of the Somali National Commission on Mobilization and Sensitization – a statutory agency mandated to mobilize Somali publics to support state programmes and institutions – with the principle aspects of leadership, needed to carry out their duties.

“Somalia requires mobilization for various reasons. It is a country with several internal conflicts, and the relations between the government and the people is characterized by mistrust,” explained the co-convener of the training workshop and AMISOM’s Senior Political Affairs Officer, Mr. Hajji Ssebirumbi.

Over the five-day course which ended on Friday, participants interacted with various leaders, among them the Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, the Deputy Speaker of Ugandan Parliament, who delivered a lecture on post-conflict management and reconciliation. Speaker Oulanyah advised the Somali leaders to draw lessons from Uganda’s turbulent past, to enable them achieve their goals. The training was a follow-up to a leadership skills development workshop, held in Mogadishu in August 2018.

“It provided a deeper and broader understanding of the young Somali leaders, of the process of nation building especially in a post-conflict context like Somalia,” noted the chief facilitator Paul Odauk, who added that Uganda bore uniquely similar experiences with Somalia, due to the extended period of conflict both countries experienced, and the process of post conflict reconstruction, reconciliation and re-stabilization.

The training of members of the National Commission on Mobilization and Sensitization, is in line with the AU Mission’s Transition Plan, which emphasizes capacity building of institutions of the Federal Government of Somalia, and is expected to help the officers build rapport with local Somali communities, as they embark on activities to promote reconciliation.

Additionally, the training was aimed at equipping the commission’s members with skills to effectively carry out the agency’s mandate, as it supports the objectives of the government.

The deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Mr. Simon Mulongo, addressed the participants during the course of the training. He welcomed the objectives of the workshop, saying it would enhance efforts to stabilize and reconstruct Somalia.

“Even if we have completed a number of key areas militarily, in terms of capturing and degrading Al-shabaab, there are still critical important elements, particularly political ones, to be able to anchor the achievements made so far,” Mulongo stated.

He said such training enabled the participants “to not only rebuild their country (Somalia) politically, but also to rally the country along a common ideological thinking”.

“And this is very important because it helps to detoxicate the population with the misleading messages and lies by Al-Shabaab,” added the deputy head of AMISOM.

The five-day training took the form of classroom lectures, field visits and familiarization tours of Uganda village-level local council administrations, district councils and government institutions.

The Somali delegation which was led by the deputy Commissioner of the National Commission on Mobilization and Sensitization Mr. Abdullahi Shire Farah, also visited the Uganda Parliament, the National Secretariat of Patriotism under the Office of the President and the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi district.

“We are grateful and happy to have participated in this training. It’s been very revealing,” Mr. Farah said.