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Khartoum, 29 September 2017: The Commission of the African Union (AU) and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held a Security Sector Reform (SSR) sensitization and training workshop in Khartoum, Republic of the Sudan, from 27 to 28 September 2017. The workshop, which was conducted over a 2 day period, was convened at the request of IGAD, for the purpose of sensitising its Member States and other stakeholders in East Africa towards reinforcing the capacities of actors and focal points responsible for SSR in the region. The workshop was attended by representatives of all IGAD Member States, the IGAD Secretariat, the Government of Sudan, the AU Commission Peace and Security Department, and international partners. The opening session featured a keynote address by the State Minister for Defence of the Republic of the Sudan, H.E. Lieutenant General Ali Salim, and statements by Commander Abebe Muluneh on behalf of IGAD, and Dr. Norman Mlambo on behalf of the African Union Commission.

In his keynote address, Lt. General Ali Salim expressed his Government’s commitment to continue to support the policies, decisions and structures of the AU and regional Member States, including with their implementation of the AU Policy Framework on SSR. He further pointed out that SSR is important to make regional forces ready and effective in responding to transnational organized crime, terrorism and violent extremism. Commander Muluneh further stated that SSR is very important for stability and socio-economic development in the East Africa region and for safeguarding it’s geostrategic and trade interest.

Participants at the workshop were introduced to the principles governing SSR and its implementation and the AU’s regional approach and Policy Framework, adopted by the Assembly of the Union in January 2013. The workshop also informed participants on the contribution and support of global partners to nationally owned and led SSR activities of Member States, including that of the United Nations, the European Union, the African Security Sector Network (ASSN) and the Geneva based International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT). Participants further made recommendations to assist IGAD on its ongoing exercise to develop a regional SSR mechanism and how to implement it in line with the AU Policy Framework. The AU Commission and partners pledged to continue to assist IGAD and its Member States moving forward on their SSR initiatives.

The workshop is a continuation of the Commission’s tradition of assisting AU Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Mechanisms (RMs) and stakeholders in the implementation of national and regional SSR initiatives. In this regard, between 2010 and 2016, the Commission conducted similar SSR sensitization workshops for countries in Western, Southern, Central and Northern Africa. The Commission has also carried out similar exercises for individual Member States including The Comoros, the Central African Republic, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, and Lesotho.

  

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Posted by Lulit Kebede

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