Monday, June 24, 2013
The Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will
cooperate in the fight against militia groups that have launched cross
border attacks in the region, a senior official said on Saturday.
IGAD Executive Secretary Mahaboub Maalim told
journalists in Nairobi that this is due to the fact that some of the
militia groups operate across borders and have been inflicting
atrocities in member countries.
"Some of the militia groups have multiple
identities across the borders and so member states will have to upgrade
regional cooperation," Maalim said when IGAD signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with The Consulting House.
Under the agreement, the Nairobi-based think tank
will do research on peace and security in the region for IGAD's
secretariat "The information will then be forwarded to the national
governments for implementation," he said.
The IGAD member states include Kenya, Uganda,
Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan and South Sudan. "Without
close collaboration, the region will not be able to eliminate the threat
caused by the militias," he said.
He added that IGAD has sharpened interventions due to the centrality of the issue.
"The range of responses will range from military interventions to imposing sanctions," he said.
"However, we will have to rely on evidence on the
ground so as develop appropriate responses. But, the research will not
be limited to one country," he said.
He added that militia groups are multiplying by
the day and so the region requires the assistance of national research
institutions in order to tackle the problem.
According to IGAD, the level of insecurity in
Somalia has not declined even after the end of the mandate of the
Transitional Federal Government.
"There is a possibility that a few spoiler groups have emerged in Somalia and are causing the instability," Maalim said.
"We are therefore watching closely and will not
hesitate to deal with the groups," he said after deadly terrorist
attacks at the UN compound in the Somali capital, Mogadishu last
Wednesday killed at least 15 people.
The Consulting House Director Dr Mutahi Ngunyi
said that the biggest threat to security in the region is the
mushrooming informal governments. "In Kenya, alone there at least 238
militia groups both organic and organized," Ngunyi said.
According to the think-tank, some groups operate
in Kenya in the day and then cross over to neighboring countries at
night. "So, in order to eliminate the menace, the regional governments
will have to implement appropriate police reforms," he said.
Ngunyi added that some of the terror groups have been associated with the rising crime wave in the country.