This article attempts to examine an issue regarding the reintegration of disengaged Al-Shabaab combatants in Somalia. Nowadays, some countries have undergone current generation disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), known as third-generation DDR; in the Somali context, although DDR is designed to disengage and rehabilitate defectors of Al-Shabaab for their reintegration into society, in practice, its implementation is not preceded by conventional approaches to conventional DDR, and it has suffered from various problems and contradictions. Previous research and information on the subject are extremely limited, due to a severe security situation. Accordingly, the author conducted interviews in Somalia in 2016 and 2019 with disengaged combatants and community members, to examine conditions necessary for good reintegration. The findings of the interviews revealed a gap in understanding between ex-combatants and members of the community, which significantly undermines the prospect of successful reintegration. A detailed analysis of the findings firstly shows that two problems exist regarding rehabilitation: a lack of knowledge, and an absence of accountability and transparency; secondly, further associated problems, such as severe unemployment, unstable security, financial difficulty, and distrust of the current government, which has devastating consequences for reintegration.

Author Bio(s)

Yosuke Nagai is the CEO and Founder of Accept International, as well as the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) mentor of United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Social Inclusion and Human Rights Unit. Since 2011, he has been active in implementing deradicalization and reintegration programs for former members of violent extremist groups, such as Al-Shabaab and Jemaah Islamiyah, in addition to gangs mainly active in Somalia, Yemen, Kenya, and Indonesia. His efforts hinge on the core belief of understanding those previously involved in violent extremist groups, investing in their futures as members of society. He holds a MSc in Conflict Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Email: yosuke.nagai@accept-int.org


DDR, Deradicalisation, Rehabilitation, Reintegration, Defector, Al-Shabaab



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