PUNTLAND SECURITY POLICY
Saturday, 07-Jun 2008PREAMBLE
The regions comprising the Puntland State of Somalia emerged relatively unscathed out of the civil strife that ensued from the disintegration of the central government in 1971. Even so when in 1998 in the wake of a ballooning population, rapid urbanization, and preponderance of unlicensed arms, the Regional Administration was formed, the first item in the nascent governments platform or agenda was security. The result was a relatively admirable stability of peace and security initially with the support of the traditional elders and intelligentsia. Later this was re-enforced by the formation of the Administration.
Circumstances at that
moment in time, predominance of clan imperative
and militia culture, paucity of revenues and
non-availability of training facilities and
equipment, trainers or even trainable material,
combined with understandable haste on the part
of the emerging authority to demonstrate a
semblance of governance, resulted in an
irregular process of recruitment. Few of those
enlisted had any prior training. Very small
numbers were subsequently offered any. The
status of the police force ten years after its
inception would best be described as static.
With no training opportunity offered to the
initial force, with no infusion of qualified
personnel into its ranks, and with an entrenched
lopsided command structure, the service is in no
position to make a dent in the prevailing
security situation within the regional State.
Thus, both the police and the custodial services
are in need of emergency rescue to enable them
meet the new challenges to peace and security.
Between May 2007 and March 2008, Puntland witnessed terrorist actions in which refugee civilians were massacred and members of the security forces killed, kidnappings and threats of life of personnel of the International Aid Agencies and robbery of international aid, organized piracy in Somali waters and increased death rates of the illegal human trafficking across the Gulf of Aden. These incidents seriously tarnished the image of peace and stability of Puntland during the period of civil strife in Somalia.
Because of the new security dilemma, a Puntland Joint security Workshop was held at Garowe on 29 31 August 2007. This was jointly organized by the international community and the Administration of Puntland. The Workshop made useful security recommendations that could perhaps ward off the tide of incidents seen afterwards if applied in time. Unfortunately, they were not implemented.
Puntland Government established a new Ministry for the affairs of internal security in December 2007 for the primary aim of preventing crime and bringing perpetrators of crime to justice. The Government allocated an extra 5% of the national budget to the Ministry of Security on top of the share the security institutions were previously getting from the ordinary budget. It also began to give special attention to the enhancement of the judiciary and the custodial services to ensure the implementation of the rule of law.
The President of Puntland Government, H. E. Mohamoud Muse Hersi, and representatives of the international community (donors, UN Agencies and INGOs) held two meetings in Nairobi on 12 and 16 March 2008. The President and the international community exchanged information on the predicament of insecurity with firm realization of its consequences if the condition remained unchecked. Through solid collaboration between the public and the Administration in maintaining settled security on the ground would facilitate the support of the international community to continue the aid programmes and projects furnished to help the people of Puntland. The President accepted the adoption of two significant recommendations by the representatives of the international community: (1) to implement the recommendations of the Puntland Joint Security Workshop and (2) to establish a joint security Focal Point between Puntland and the international community.
On the basis of the above-mentioned points in the Preamble, the Council of Ministers of Puntland chaired by the President held a meeting today (Thursday, 5th June 2008) at Garowe in which the issues of security were widely deliberated, concluding the approval of the following Puntland Security Policy consisting of the five parts below:
Law Enforcement Measures
Capacity Building of Law Enforcement Institutions
Cooperation Framework and
New Security Policy in Puntland.
Every citizen of Puntland or any other person legally staying in the territory of Puntland State has the right of security to their lives, property, freedom, dignity and integrity.
1. Law Enforcement Measures
There are various aspects in any effective security stability of which the most important are:
Prevention of crime, apprehending criminals, making them appear before court for trial for their deeds;
Prohibition of public appearance of armed civilians or out of duty soldiers/policemen;
Fight against business involving arms and
Elimination of illegal checkpoints.
The attainment of these is the responsibility of the Administration as it has the mandate to protect society from the evil actions of crime perpetrators in order to achieve to live without fear in the environment inside Puntland. The Government of Puntland must guarantee the right to salary and welfare that the security personnel deserve, as well as availability of equipment enabling fulfillment of duties. The Government equally acts as a guarantor of any liability on the line of duty. On the other hand, the people ought to support and abide ways of obtaining a reliable security system. Areas where the public may be of help include not taking sides of law cases or offering cover to criminals or criminal behavior.
2. Capacity Building of Law Enforcement Institutions
To enable the Government of Puntland carry out its responsibilities on security, it is imperative that the relevant institutions in charge of security affairs work on clear job descriptions serving a coordinated unified purpose. These institutions shall have powers to implement duties. Since the present level of the revenue of Puntland is far below the expenditure required to meet the basic needs of services, it is essential to find possible international support to assist in the fields of training, provision of equipment (transport, communication, etc.) and management (offices, furniture and prisons). In the knowledge that there may not be direct governmental assistance forthcoming at present, international agencies, whose assistance in the security sector remained limited, are expected to give hand in improving the capacity of the law enforcement institutions.
3. Security Awareness
It is crucial that the people of Puntland are awakened that real security is a general interest to be looked after by all beyond political campaigns, divisions and group interests. Security matters should be seen as neutral, serving the public interest only. Authorities should engage regular public awareness campaigns on the substance and magnitude of security and stability. The civil society plays an important role in enhancing security awareness.
4. Cooperation Framework
Effective security is achievable through cooperation between the Administration, the society and the international agencies. The cooperation of the three parties shall be made possible in the availability of a shared collaborative arrangement with clearly defined roles and responsibilities of all. There should be a regular information-sharing system between the three sides and a jointly set program of activities, coordination and monitoring of the implementation process.
5. The New Security Policy in Puntland
The Puntland Security Policy is based on two stages, namely: (1) a 6-month transition period and (2) a lasting Puntland security.
5.1 The 6-Month Transition Stage
The main target of the transition stage is the riddance of the culture of impunity of a criminal in the territory of Puntland. The repugnant habit of getting away with crime is to end once and for all. This restores public confidence in the application of the rule of law and in turn victims of crime will be persuaded to avoid resorting to blood or sub-clan retributions. The vital steps necessary to take on this are the following:
Continuation of the steps undertaken early this year. With the help of the people, the newly formed Ministry of Security and DDR succeeded to a limit in restoring the security in the main cities and towns of Puntland, arresting many criminals, protecting marine transport from pirates and saving the lives of foreign UN personnel. These efforts created much hope. Yet there are criminals still walking free to be apprehended. Security agencies are collating data, movements and hideouts of every known missing perpetrator of crime to bring him to justice;
Implementation of the recommendations of Puntland Joint Security Workshop held at Garowe in August 2007;
Strengthening the security program in the major towns and placement of emergency task force units to be deployed in far off places;
Guaranteeing rights of the security personnel to salary and welfare;
Registration and reform of the police and the custodial services in restructuring, elimination of sub-clanist culture, training, promotion, supply of equipment and preparation of competent officers and NCOs;
Consistent assessment of security conditions at the end of every month in the 6-month transition period (June to November 2008);
Reinstatement of the confidence of the international community on security, setting out a Focal Point of cooperation with Puntland Security Institutions and
Preparation of an effective security program for Puntland after the 6-month transition period.
5.2 Lasting Security
After the achievement of the targets of the 6-month transition period, the Governments plan is that Puntland shall be in a position to implement the rule of law, a fundamental beacon for improved development of socio-economic and political change.
The Government of Puntland hereby declares its commitment to effective security and implementation of the rule of law.
- Somali Version: TUB-RAACA AMNIGA PUNTLAND