Ethiopia: ICRC holds discussion with Somali Region Security

The ICRC and senior security and justice sector personnel in Somali region discussed ways of further strengthening their existing relations and cooperation related to humanitarian issues at a half-day seminar held in Jigjiga city on 25 September 2019.

The seminar brought together 33 senior staff from the Office of Somali Region President, Security Bureau, Attorney General, Supreme Court, Police Commission, Prison Commission and others.

According to Julien Lerisson, head of the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia, the seminar provided an excellent platform to exchange ideas on ICRC operations and the challenges faced by Somali regional State Justice and security sector institutions. "This type of gathering proves to facilitate dialogue and cooperation between the ICRC and the region, complementing the region's efforts to uphold international standards in the use of force and firearms and protection of people in detention. We feel humbled and encouraged by the warm welcome the ICRC received after 11 years of absence from the region," Julien added.

ICRC's head of delegation in Ethiopia, Julien Lerisson, responding to questions raised by participants in the course of the seminar, Jigjjiga, Somali Region, 2019. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Alemayehu Takele

Ali Samire Sigon, Somali Region Police deputy commissioner remarked after the conclusion of the seminar that it was an important forum to share ideas on what we could expect from the ICRC and on the support the ICRC seeks from us. Ali went on to say, "We expect the ICRC to protect our people (prisoners) and assist those in need. We as law enforcement bodies, especially the police, will in turn facilitate whatever they (the ICRC) need from us especially support."

Sadam Abdi Mohamed, a conflict resolution officer with Somali Region Security Justice Administration, said, "The seminar had helped us to know more about ICRC mandate especially in the realm of promoting international humanitarian law and human rights standards."

Julien presenting the activities of the ICRC to participants, Jigjiga, Somali Region, 2019. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Alemayehu Takele

The ICRC's training sessions in legitimate use of force and firearms, treatment of detainees and other issues related to humanitarian activities being carried out by the ICRC were among the topics discussed in the course of the seminar.

In Somali Region, the ICRC visits places of detention, provides training to special forces and provides assistance to people displaced mainly by ethnic violence.