Supporting the Federal Government of Somalia’s National Programme on the Handling of Disengaged Combatants
In 2015, ASI assumed responsibility for the co-management of the Serendi rehabilitation centre for low-risk defectors from the Al-Shabaab (AS) terrorist group in Mogadishu – alongside the Federal Government of Somalia.
When ASI took over the management of Serendi, there were many vulnerable individuals in the centre who should not have been there (including 80 children), rampant human rights abuses, extensive mental health issues and very little documentation. Beneficiaries slept on the floor in overcrowded rooms, inadequate WASH facilities and crumbling infrastructure; bullying and aggression were rife, and incidents of mental health distress and disorders were prevalent.
The Project/what we are doing about this challenge:
The Serendi centre forms part of a wider National Programme (NP) for the rehabilitation of former members of AS. Between 2015 and 2018, ASI undertook a comprehensive programme of renovations and facility upgrades to improve the living conditions in Serendi. Since 2015, ASI has supported all aspects of the running of Serendi, facilitating salary payments to Serendi and DRP staff, ensuring effective facilities and security management, overseeing the operations of the Serendi Medical Centre and procuring all the goods and services required to provide defectors in the centre with the standard of living required for their successful rehabilitation.
In 2018, ASI’s work expanded beyond a sole focus on rehabilitation to wider support for the whole National Programme. ASI provided guidance and advice to the Government on all five of the NP pillars – reception, screening, rehabilitation, reintegration and outreach – which helped to coordinate the programme’s policies and procedures more effectively.
What the project has achieved so far / intends to achieve:
- 554 beneficiaries have successfully exited Serendi since 2015. These beneficiaries have been accepted back into their families and communities.
- LLDP transformed a poorly equipped, poorly managed centre into a comprehensive rehabilitation centre which provides psychosocial support, basic education, VET, health care and reintegration support in a conducive environment.
- The implementation of a tailored case management system for beneficiaries in Serendi (the first of its kind in Somalia).
- Significant investments have been made in developing the capacity of the Serendi centre staff, and Somali team members to run the centre and manage the National Programme.
- The LLDP team worked closely with the Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Justice to support the development of a draft ‘Legal Amnesty Framework’, which has been adopted by the Cabinet Ministers.