Jig-jiga(Mogadishu24)-Representatives from Ethiopia’s Somali State government held a collaborative dialogue and community sensitization session on preventing violent extremism in Hargelle town, Afdheer region, on Tuesday.

The discussions focused on preventing the phenomenon of violent extremism, radicalization, and the spread of extremist ideologies, as well as addressing security threats posed by terrorist groups.

Mr. Shukri Hassan Barre, the Governor of Afdheer region, stressed that the aim of the dialogue was to create community awareness against radicalization and to highlight the impacts of terrorism on regional peace and stability.

“We organized this sensitization program to enlighten communities about the severe threats of religious extremism to civilian security and stability. We also provided religious leaders with the opportunity to elaborate on the religious aspects of those terrorist groups like Al-Shabaab who misuse religion to commit crimes,” said Mr. Shukri Hassan, Afdheer region’s governor.

The Governor added that the government and religious leaders would take joint mobilization efforts to create awareness against radicalization.

“We also plan to initiate a community awareness initiative led by religious leaders and the regional administration on the effects of radicalization and ways to prevent it.”

“We also focus on comprehensive dispute resolution measures, promoting unity and peaceful coexistence between the communities living in this region, which will be a fundamental pillar for progress and development,” he added.

The Secretary of the Supreme Council of Muslim Affairs of the Ethiopian Somali Regional Government, Sheikh Mohamed Sheikh Alinur, reiterated their commitment to promoting peace and stability in the region by creating awareness against revolving intercommunity disputes and educating them on the effects it has on communities.

“We came to promote peace and unity within our communities living in this region by educating them on the effects of disputes and conflicts and the benefits of peaceful coexistence among them,” Sheikh Mohamed said.

“Areas with frequent insecurity situations and disputes usually face poverty, underdevelopment, increased criminal cases like murder, which will promote the nonexistence of the community,” he added.

The sensitization program brought together regional administration, religious leaders, intellectuals from the region, community leaders, the security services, and representatives from civil society organizations.

Ethiopia’s Somali State Government has achieved great success in reducing criminal cases within its territory by promoting peace, undertaking swift responses to intercommunity clashes, and solving disputes between them.

In August, the State Administration held the sixth poetry competition for poets in Jigjiga city, with the theme of ‘effects of conflicts and how to get rid of them.’

The competition organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Somali State Administration aimed at creating awareness against conflicts and their security threats and educating the public on the importance of peaceful coexistence between communities.

Ethiopia is one of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troop-contributing countries and has been actively engaged in the fight against the Al-Shabaab terrorist organization, which is a threat not only to Somalia but also to its neighbouring countries like Ethiopia and Kenya.

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