International Development Law Organization

Countering violent extremism through improved community reconciliation in Somalia

As a result of the combined military offensive of the Somali National Army and African Union Mission in Somalia with international support, the Al Shabaab extremist group has been significantly degraded and forced into retreat. Al Shabaab’s emergence, and support, particularly among marginalized communities, was and is still to a large extent fueled by both inter and intra-clan conflicts and lack of justice. Thus, addressing community reconciliation and reintegration of low risk disengaged combatants are vital to limit such inter and intra-clan conflicts, thereby preventing extremist resurgence in recovered areas and expansion into new areas.

Funded by the United States Department of State, IDLO is implementing a project that aims to promote community reconciliation, forgiveness and trust with the ultimate aim of reintegrating low risk disengaged combatants. IDLO will work with trauma healing experts to design a twelve-week program and a pilot school’s program on crucial topics, including the effect of trauma, conflict transformation and peacebuilding. It will also establish Disengaged Combatants Coordination Units to be embedded into the Ministry of Internal Security at federal and regional levels.