Increasing insecurity spreading from other parts of the Somali Region to Puntland is a major cause for concern to Puntlanders. To face this pressing issue, Interspaces’ local partner, the Puntland Development Research Center (PDRC), recently organized a consultative meeting aimed at strengthening peace and security in the region.

Among the more than 60 participants were government representatives, titled traditional leaders, chiefs and elders, local peace-builders, representatives of civil society and religious leaders. The meeting was a concluding endeavour of broad-based consultative meetings held in major cities of Puntland including Bosaso, Galkayo, Gardo, Badhan and Garowe.

H. E. Khaliif Issa Mudan, Minister of Security and Demobilization, Demilitarization and Reintegration (DDR) of Puntland, opened the conference that was held in Garowe. The minister praised the work of the Steering Committee that is implementing the Security and Rule of Law Pillar activities of the Pillars of Peace programme: “…you have done very good work; it is not easy to summon this number of paramount chiefs and uluma [religious leaders]. We need your support…in tackling the security problems.”

The goal of this series of consultations is to feed the voices of all levels and sectors of society into the policy-making process. “Security is an issue that affects us all and therefore requires an inclusive discussion. We need to develop policies that can stop the growing insecurity across the region,” explains Ali Farah Ali, PDRC Programme Coordinator.

“This conference paves the way for yet another historical conference to be held in Puntland in the near future. In this conference, where the new Puntland constitution will be adopted, the delegates from all walks of Puntland society will decide the fate and the overall future of the area.” adds Ali Farah.

At the closing ceremony on the second day, the UNDP/Rule of Law programme manager, Nick Beresford, addressed the meeting and pledged support to the Puntland’s security policy development.