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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

UN reintegrates over 100 ex-Shabaab fighters in Baidoa

126 former al-Shabab combatants have completed a rehabilitation program and are ready for reintegration.

The former combatants graduated from the Baidoa Rehabilitation Center, in Somalia’s South West State, on Thursday after completing an intensive rehabilitation program.

The programme graduates, comprising youths from various parts of the country, received vocational training and psychological support from the centre.

They thanked the programme managers, saying they were ready to join their fellow citizens in contributing positively towards Somalia’s stabilisation process.

Present at the ceremony were officials from the South West administration, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and representatives of various UN agencies.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, South West State Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration (DDR) director, Ilyas Ali Nur, said the programme has proven to be a success, noting that hundreds of youths who defected from Al-Shabaab have been trained and reintegrated into the community.

“On behalf of the South West regional government, I wish to announce that we are very happy with the success of this program. This graduation is for 126 ex-combatants, who were previously misled, but now are fully rehabilitated,” said Mr. Nur.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, South West State Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration (DDR) director, Ilyas Ali Nur, said the programme has proven to be a success, noting that hundreds of youths who defected from Al-Shabaab have been trained and reintegrated into the community.

“On behalf of the South West regional government, I wish to announce that we are very happy with the success of this program. This graduation is for 126 ex-combatants, who were previously misled, but now are fully rehabilitated,” said Mr. Nur.

The training and reintegration of former combatants is an integral part of the National Programme for the Treatment and Handling of Disengaged Combatants in Somalia, led by the Office of the Defectors Rehabilitation Programme, under the Federal Ministry of Internal Security.

The programme contributes to the long-term stabilisation of Somalia by promoting defections of Al-Shabaab combatants and reintegration of disengaged combatants into their communities.

Mr. Nur said the South West administration had played a major role in the success of the programme by providing security and necessary facilities, and monitoring progress of the defectors.

“We also promise that we will receive and welcome with open hands as many combatants as possible,” he added.

The program graduates, comprising youths from various parts of the country, received vocational training and psychological support at the center.

The UNSOM, the IOM, and other development partners have supported the establishment of similar rehabilitation and transition centers in Mogadishu, Beletweyne and Kismayo.

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