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ISS Seminar, Nairobi: BY INVITATION ONLY: Challenges to Peace and Security in the Horn of Africa: Analysis of Al-Shabaab`s Threats and Attacks
Date: 21 September 2010

The African Conflict Prevention Programme of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) – Nairobi Office cordially invites you to a seminar entitled: Challenges to Peace and Security in the Horn of Africa: Analysis of Al-Shabaab Threats and Attacks, to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, September 21, 2010.  The Somalia conflict has remained a thorny issue to the Horn of Africa, and Africa in general, since its outbreak in 1991. Its unpredictably violent dynamics, protracted nature and complexity of underlying causes, set it apart as one situation in which the international community continues to grapple with limited options on the way forward. To date, more than a dozen attempts have been made at its resolution. Yet, the situation continues to deteriorate.

Despite the involvement of many armed groups, the Al-Shabaab has emerged in recent times as the most militarily strong and challenging to recent attempts to bring peace to Somalia. In addition to their professed links with al-Qaeda; the presence of foreign fighters in their ranks; persistent attempts to overthrow the Transitional Federal Government (TFG); and constant attacks on African Union (AU) peacekeepers, the recent bombing of public places in Uganda by the group has firmly registered their deadliness to other countries as well. The bombing, coupled with other associated deadly strikes by the group, have led to many questions about who they are, the threats they pose, and ways of containing their onslaught.

Aim of the Seminar

The seminar aims at creating the platform for frank discussions about the nature of the Alshabaab and the threat they pose to the entire region. This is premised on the assumption that a better understanding of the group is indispensable in finding the way forward for the conflict and in bringing peace to the region.

The following questions will be addressed by the seminar:

  • Review of Peace and Security Challenges in Somalia
  • Growth of Radicalization in the Horn
  • Analysis of Al Shabaab: Who they are and what is their agenda?
  • Regional Implications of Al-Shabaab`s Attacks
  • Strategies for containing Al-Shabaab`s threats and attacks
  • Options for Nurturing Political Stability and Security in Somalia

Output

Organized to coincide with the United Nations proclaimed International Day of Peace and in line with the activities of the African Union Year of Peace, the seminar is designed to promote consensus building by providing a platform for sharing information, encouraging policy debates and dialogues on the African peace and security agenda. The aim is to stimulate quality discussion, in-depth and constructive interaction between participants. The Seminar will bring together politicians, diplomats, academics, researchers, the media and members of the civil society to deliberate on this important issue. Panellists will be drawn from regional think-tanks, members of government, civil society, academia and regional intergovernmental institutions.

Apart from a seminar report, deliberations of lessons learned will end up in a policy brief aimed at informing understanding of the challenges to peace and security in Somalia with a focus on Al-Shabaab group.

Please note that discussions occur under the ISS Rule, which means no attribution without specific permission.

Enquiries:
For queries, confirmations and regrets please contact: Ms. Samira Yusuf at: Phone:(+254)20 386 1625
Fax(+254) 20 386 1639
E-mail: syusuf@issafrica.org.
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