Community Security Initiatives take off in Blue Nile State

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Damazine. On Sunday May 8th, the Sudanese Development Initiative (SUDIA), with the support of the Joint DDR Commission (JDDRC) and the UNDP, officially launched two pilot social reintegration projects, which will be implemented in Blue Nile State. The launch took place in Damazine town, and was attended by more than 30 participants, including representatives from the state government, UN agencies, the media, and civil society.

Mr. Daud Idriss Nasor, JDDRC Commissioner in Blue Nile State, welcomed the participants and explained that preparations for these projects, which are being funded by UNDP, started more than a year ago with consultations with relevant state authorities and institutions, and communities. These consultations led to the identification of two communities as sites for implementation of the projects – Zindia and Zariba – and to the identification of their priority needs.

The projects will be implemented over a six-month period and aim to promote social cohesion and enhance the social acceptance of ex‐combatants and women associated with armed forces and groups (WAAF) in receiving communities through civic education, capacity building and psychosocial support to special need groups.

“These projects will be implemented with the assistance of two partners, ENTISHAR, a Sudanese non-profit organization, and the Department of Community Development at Blue Nile University,” explained Abeer Elhag, SUDIA project manager. “SUDIA itself will have two separate teams, one working in each village.”

SUDIA will use a three-pronged approach to enhancing community security: community training and non‐formal education; social mobilization activities; and capacity development of formal community structures. Working alongside ENTISHAR, the programme aims to first train 30 community facilitators from each of the two villages in modules including community security, psychosocial support, and peace-building/conflict resolution. In turn, these newly trained trainers will disseminate their knowledge to an estimated 300 community members. With the Department of Community Development, a series of workshops and trainings will target 25-30 trainees from each village in the fields of agro‐forestry production, livestock production, environment protection, and peaceful co‐existence.

Mr. Fedail Abdel-Rahman, Minister for local government and representative of the Blue Nile State government, welcomed the project, and highlighted the important role to be played by civil society in this state. “People in rural areas have suffered a lot,” he explained, “and NGOs are playing a great role in alleviating their suffering – we are highly appreciative of that role.”

This project is part of the Community security and small arms control (CSAC) programme being implemented by the North Sudan DDR Commission and the UNDP. In addition to these ‘soft’ components, the programme will support a ‘hard’ component in these two villages, which will consist of the construction of two health clinics. Overall, the CSAC programme aims to improve the social welfare of DDR participants and their respective communities, contributing to enhanced peace and security in the state. UNDP is looking forward to extend this initiative to other parts of Blue Nile State and similar initiatives are being implemented in other parts of Sudan.