Center for Peace and Democracy (CPD)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Profile of the Center for Peace and Democracy (CPD)

Background:

The Centre for Peace and Democracy (CPD) is a non profit and non governmental organization dedicated to strengthening peace, promoting democracy and providing human rights education in the war torn nation of Somalia. The organization provides trainings and other resources in partnership with communities, organizations, trainers, and other non-profit organizations with which we share a common vision for change.

CPD was founded in Mogadishu Somalia on 15th of September 2003 by a group of Somali intellectuals, in response to the democracy and governance crisis generated by protracted civil warfare.


CPD Board members and staff are committed to stand and seek the promotion of democracy, peace enhancement and the defence of human rights in Somalia. The organization is seeking to achieve its goal with the support collaboration and co-operation of the international and national civil society organizations and advocates.

CPD is headquartered in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia but has representative sub offices in Kismayo, in the Jubba Valley, Adado in the central zone regions and Marka, in the lower Shabelle region. These regions are the most hostile areas in Somalia since the collapse of the previous Somali military government in 1991. CPD targeted these regions because the human rights violations committed and other atrocities against the rights of normal Somali citizens are very high and the communities’ awareness of their rights is very low.

The objective of CPD is to reach the entire country with the message of democracy and peace, for maximum impact.

CPD has a sense of duty to secure a sustainable observance of human rights in Somalia, promote democracy and strengthen peace through provision of trainings to human rights advocates, media staff and other civil society organizations at large. The organization also conducts investigations, human rights monitoring, and researching and documenting cases of human rights abuses.

Vision:

We envision a peaceful and democratic Somali state in which all people live in communities that are sustainable, healthy and in harmony with the natural environment. This is a state free of the violence that results from human greed and fear, where people live with cultural dignity and where social and economic justice flourish. We believe in a process in which people engage one another in action and dialogue and value the common good above the comfort of a few.

We envision a democratic environment where individuals and communities live in equitable relationships, working together to create mutually beneficial solutions that honour and respect each other's ways of life.

We envision Somalia as a peaceful and democratic environment where all people live in dignity, respect, and human rights preserved in which every one knows his/her rights and obligations.

As an organization we challenge ourselves to learn and grow, and we encourage others to ask questions, find solutions and take action to confront and eliminate oppression.

Mission:

¨ Centre for Peace and Democracy (CPD) works to strengthen a broad-based social justice movement that embodies, embraces, and honours many cultures to create the new systems and institutions essential to building a peaceful, just, and equitable Somali state.
CPD Goals:

1. To affirm and support oppressed communities as key leaders in a broad-based movement, who develop the analysis and strategies, needed to transform institutions and systems.

2. To strengthen community based and other intermediary training organizations that provide trainings, resource materials, political education, planning and critical thinking tools for community-based organizations and grassroots groups.

3. To support community-based organizations and grassroots groups to develop and implement models of training that emerge from their different cultures.

4. To support youth to articulate their realities and to develop analyses, critical thinking, and strategic action in order to challenge and transform the environment around them.

5. To encourage creating opportunities for networking and alliance building by community organizations, membership organizations, and coalitions to engage each other in healthy ideological debates and dialogues which further movement building and strategic visioning.

6. To support the development and dissemination of analysis and curricula that clarifies the role of the Somali state and other governments, multi-national corporations, and other systems and institutions in structuring unjust, exploitative, and oppressive relationships among the Somali communities.

7. To support international struggles and create opportunities to learn from and share movement-building strategies from international perspectives.

8. To increase the resources available to the movement, while expanding and diversifying our base of support.

Core Values and Principles:

We envision CPD as an institution characterized by its commitment to the following Core Values and Principles:

1. Accountability to our stakeholders through their ownership of and involvement in the work of the organization.

2. Promoting Transparency, Openness, Freedom of Expression and Social Responsibility.

3. Empowerment, Equality of opportunity and Feminist principles in the conceptualisation and implementation of our programs.

4. Professionalism that adds value to the challenges of redefining human security and peace-building in Somalia by building a knowledge base of lessons that can be shared across class, and gender divides.

5. Humility in the course of our work and respect for diversity of views through the promotion of universal ideals within culturally sensitive contexts.


Core Objectives

CPD seeks to:

1. Theories and systematize the relationship between democracy and development by analysing the Somali experience.

2. Research the theoretical and practical aspects of security, democratisation and development in Somalia, drawing on lessons from transitions elsewhere.

3. Help establish and sustain institutional structures that will serve the constitutional management of economic, social, gender and civil-military relations.

4. Create training modules in democracy building, human rights, governance, civil society leadership etc.

5. Devise strategies for peace building and de-escalation of conflicts at local, national and regional levels.

6. Provide the international community with regular, well-annotated briefing materials on the state of democracy and development in Somalia.

7. Provide a bridge between academy, policy and activism.


CPD Board of Directors:

The Center for Peace and Democracy (CPD) is governed by elected Board of Directors. The board of directors contain 15 members that are divided into two group namely, the Executive Board and the Governing Council. The executive board is the decision making body of (CPD) and it is composed of 5 members including the Chairman, Vice Chairman, General Secretary, Program Coordinator and the Chief Accountant.

The Governing Council is the parliamentary unit of CPD that works on guiding, advising and correcting the strategies of CPD. The governing council also works as the management committee that manages and run the daily operations of the organization. The management committee works under the guidelines of the Program Coordinator, while the Program Coordinator reports directly to CPD Chairman.



Chairman
Ali Said Omar Ibrahim
Vice Chairman
Abdullahi Farah Wehlie

General Secretary
Lul Abdi Mohamed

Chief Accountant
Abdikarim Mohamed Hersi

Program Coordinator
Ubah Hassan Mohamed

Administrator

Fadumo Sharif

Logistics Officer

Mohamed Abdi Ali
International Relations

Mohamed Abdi Nur
Cashier

Anab Ali Sheikh
CPD Representative in Sweden

Dahir Ahmed Kulane

CPD Representative in the UK

Hassan Derie Ali
CPD Representative in Kenya

Asha Abdi Barre
Public Relations Director

Moahmed Ali Fanah

Media Advisor

Ali Mohamed Halane
Socio-Political Advisor

Ibrahim Ali Hassan


Organizational Chart Posted by Picasa

UN envoy in Jowhar to meet President Yusuf


NAIROBI, 25 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) to Somalia, François Lonseny Fall, left Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday for the Somali town of Jowhar to meet senior members of the transitional government.
"The SRSG is principally going to consult with President Abdullahi Yusuf while in Jowhar," Babafemi Badejo, the deputy SRSG, told IRIN on Tuesday.
He added that the one-day trip was part of the SRSG's ongoing efforts to foster dialogue and end differences within the transitional government.
Following their relocation in June from Nairobi, Somalia's transitional government institutions have been divided over where the seat of government should be in the country. President Yusuf and Prime Minister Ali Muhammad Gedi and their supporters relocated to Jowhar, 90 km north of the capital, Mogadishu. They maintain that Mogadishu must be secured before they can transfer the government to the city. More than 100 members of the 275-strong Transitional Federal Parliament, led by Speaker Sharif Hassan Shaykh Aden, are in Mogadishu attempting to restore stability to the war-scarred city.
A section of the government, including several prominent faction leaders, strongly disagreed with the decision to install the administration in Jowhar. The proposed deployment of peacekeepers, particularly from Somalia's neighbours, has also deeply divided the new government.
There have been numerous attempts by the international community and the UN to mediate an end to the divisions. In August, Fall presented an "agenda for dialogue" to Somalia's interim leaders, aimed at helping them overcome the current differences but so far there has been no face-to-face meeting of the leaders.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said recently that friction between Somalia's leaders was preventing the country's federal institutions from functioning effectively. He warned that if the divisions intensified the fragile structures could be undermined and called on the Somali leaders and countries of the region not to aggravate the situation.
Fall’s visit follows recent consultations on the Somalia situation with leaders in Ethiopia, Egypt, Russia, Sweden and at the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The SRSG has also been in contact with the League of Arab States, the Commission of the African Union and countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, according to a statement issued by his office on Monday.
[ENDS]

Source: IRIN, Oct. 25, 2005

InterWorld Radio News Bulletin

The World Health Organisation has confirmed that a fourth Indonesian has died from bird flu. The victim, a 23-year-old man, died in Bogor, near Jakarta. China also announced a new outbreak among 2,100 geese and chickens in the eastern Anhui province on Monday. Last week killed 2,600 birds were found dead in the country’s northern region of Inner Mongolia after being infected with the H5N1 strain of bird flu. China has not reported any cases of human infection. The H5N1 strain has killed at least 60 people in Asia since 2003.
Civil rights icon Rosa Lee Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the American civil rights movement, has died at the age of 92. Parks was 42 and working as a seamstress when she committed the act of defiance. Her arrest and 14 dollar fine prompted a mass boycott of buses backed by Martin Luther King Jr. His protest movement brought about the 1964 Civil rights Act, which outlawed racial discrimination in the US.
The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund `UNICEF' predicts the number of children orphaned by Aids in sub-Saharan Africa will reach 18 million by 2010. The charity, which launched an awareness campaign today, claimed only five per cent of HIV-positive children receive medical help and only 10 per cent of those orphaned by Aids get financial help. UNICEF is appealing for donors to give more money to support these children.
At least 17 people were killed on Monday by three powerful explosions outside Baghdad hotels used by foreign journalists. Suicide bombers are believed to have driven vehicles into barriers outside the Palestine and Sheraton hotels. All the victims appear to have been Iraqis who were outside the hotels. It is thought the attack was an attempt to take over the hotels and snatch journalists as hostages. The violence comes as the country waits for the results of the referendum on a new Iraqi constitution.
A former head of the Rwandan army has denied masterminding the country's 1994 genocide. In a UN court set up to try those responsible, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, and three military co-defendants have already denied charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Col Bagosora was the most senior civil servant in the defence ministry when the genocide began. The prosecution says he directed the Hutu militias who carried out the killings of some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus over the course of 100 days.
Morocco has admitted its border guards killed four African migrants as they tried to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla. In a mass raid earlier this month Moroccan security forces opened fire at the border killing six people, four from gunfire. The incident sparked international criticism of how Spain and Morocco deal with immigrants trying to enter Europe. An inquiry by the Spanish civil guard has cleared its troops of involvement.
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Russian Federation: Six years after the bombing of the Grozny market nobody held accountable

Vienna, 24 October 2005. Last week marked the sixth anniversary of a heinous crime -- the bombing of the market, the mosque and the maternity hospital in Grozny, in which between 100 and 120 civilians died and another 400 were wounded.

This cruel attack on three civilian institutions in the very beginning of the second Chechen war epitomizes the essence of that war, whose primary victims are peaceful residents. The memory of this crime is already overshadowed by numerous other tragic events, indeed, with Chechnya immersed in a sea of blood and human suffering for the past six years. And the perpetrators still go unpunished.

The IHF mourns the victims of the Grozny bombing as well as all the victims of the war in Chechnya, and urges in the international community to recall the tragic events of October 21, 1999, and call upon the Russian Federation to hold the responsible criminals accountable for their deed. Reconciliation and peace in Chechnya cannot be achieved without ending the climate of impunity and bringing to justice all perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

For more information:International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Aaron Rhodes, Executive Director; Eliza Moussaeva, Consultant, +43-1-408 88 22

Situation in Darfur seriously degenerating, says Guterres

GENEVA, October 24 (UNHCR) – The UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has said that the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan is once again deteriorating sharply, and warned that a further calamity could take place there very soon, which might have "a devastating impact" on neighbouring countries as well as on the situation in other parts of Sudan.
"What we are witnessing on the ground is a very serious degeneration of the situation," he told reporters and other guests at an event in London to mark the international launch of a DVD of the 'Voices for Darfur' concert. "...It is extremely nasty, with ugly events."
The security situation has deteriorated tremendously within the past six weeks, especially in West Darfur, with ambushes, hostage-taking and attacks on villages as well as on the Aro Sharow camp for displaced people that left 34 displaced people and local villagers dead. Aid workers increasingly are the focus of attacks. Humanitarian agencies say this is seriously hampering their capacity to operate on the ground.
Guterres, who visited Darfur two months ago, said at that time he was optimistic that, though not easy, peace would be possible in Darfur, and that if it came about it would have a beneficial impact on the rest of the country.
"You have three different crises at the moment," he said. "South Sudan, where peace was established based on the sharing of oil revenues; you have Darfur, and you have eastern Sudan, where the implications are also in relation to the neighbours and the problem between Eritrea and Ethiopia."
"Darfur ... in my opinion is the key for success or failure for Sudan as a whole," he said. "If there is success in Darfur, it will have a positive impact for coordinating a peace agreement in the south and for allowing peace to develop in the east."
But the reverse, he warned, would probably produce the opposite result: "If it gets worse in Darfur, it will deteriorate, and even in the south the agreement will be weakened."
He expressed deep concern about the possible adverse effect on other countries in the region, especially Chad, which already hosts more than 200,000 Sudanese refugees from Darfur.
As a result of a number of recent security incidents, the UN decided on October 11 to relocate non-essential staff out of part of West Darfur as a precautionary measure. It is hoped that this is a temporary measure and work can resume in the near future. Much will depend on the extent to which the Sudanese government can guarantee security for displaced people and aid workers on its territory.
UNHCR has been present in West Darfur since June 2004, with offices in El Geneina, Zalinge, Mukjar and in Nyala (south Darfur). There are 37 international staff and 37 national staff working in those offices. Depending on the security situation, an additional five offices will be opened to enhance protection monitoring coverage and better assist the displaced people.
Guterres made his comment at an event to mark the launch off the DVD of a recent all-star charity concert on behalf of refugees from Darfur, and to thank the singers who took part.*
One of them, Greek opera star Mario Frangoulis, told UNHCR staff at the agency's headquarter in Geneva on Monday that his own planned visit to Darfur had been cancelled because of the security situation. However, he insisted he wants to keep "the flame alive," and spread awareness of the problem in Darfur and UNHCR's work there. All the artists who took part in the concert, as well as those such as Sade, David Gray and Franz Ferdinand, who contributed exclusive material to the DVD, were fully engaged he said and wanted to do what they could to draw attention to the plight of the victims of the Darfur concert.
Out of the $31 million required for UNHCR's activities in 2005, contributions of only $14.4 million have been so far received.

Sri Lanka: UN Committee against Torture urged to take special measures to curb systematic and widespread police torture

PRESS RELEASE
ALRC-PL-48-2005

(Hong Kong, October 24, 2005) The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) urged the U.N. Committee against Torture to take special measures, such as to appoint a rapporteur, to curb the catastrophic level of torture committed by the police in Sri Lanka in a report submitted on 9 October 2005 to the committee entitled “Systematic and widespread torture by state institutions in Sri Lanka and absence of effective remedies for victims and their family members.”

The 180-page report was lodged in advance of the committee's hearings on Sri Lanka scheduled between 7-25 November. The committee will consider Sri Lanka's compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the main international treaty outlawing torture, in examining Sri Lanka’s second periodic report in accordance with article 19 of the Convention.

"There is an absence of effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent torture in Sri Lanka," the Hong Kong-based rights group said in its submission.

"Key institutions which are to uphold the rule of law, namely, the police, prosecution and the judiciary, have effectively collapsed in Sri Lanka, and there needs to be an urgent and serious attempt to rebuild them," the report said.

The report documented about 100 cases of torture committed by the police in recent years, including rape and sexual torture, deaths in police custody due to torture and the torture of children.
"The breakdown of the state justice machinery has been caused by the malfunctioning policing system where command responsibility is treated as a trivial matter, and the underlying problem is the inability of the policing system to uphold the rule of law," it said. The report also highlighted the unprofessional behaviour of the police.

"Police in Sri Lanka often operate, not like professional law enforcement agents, but thugs or gangsters, and this gang behaviour is often displayed through abuse, use of violence and torture," the ALRC pointed out. The report also highlighted the lack of protection for both witnesses and victims, especially when the victims of torture pursue cases against the police. A number of torture victims were harassed, intimidated, again tortured and even assassinated, as in the case of Gerald Mervyn Perera, by the police for pursuing cases against them.

“The absence of a witness protection scheme seriously affects the criminal justice system; and because victims are frequently and seriously threatened, many fear to come forward to pursue their complaints against torture,” the report said. In terms of health professionals, the report highlighted the “occasions where health professionals, such as judicial medical officers and district medical officers, connive with the police to cover up evidence.”

The report also referred to the slow process of seeking justice by the victims of torture, including the slow process of investigations, the filing of charges and prolonged delays by the courts. The report also dealt with the issue of inadequate redress and the absence of fair and adequate compensation to torture victims. "There is a complete absence of state-sponsored programmes or mechanisms to rehabilitate torture victims physically and psychologically," the ALRC pointed out.
The report put forward a comprehensive list of recommendations to the U.N. committee in dealing with the government of Sri Lanka to curb torture.

The key recommendations included enacting a witness protection law to ensure the physical security of Sri Lanka’s citizens, assigning a permanent special body to investigate torture, enforcing the public complaints procedure of the National Police Commission (NPC) in the shortest possible time and establishing the command responsibility of senior police officials on torture committed by their subordinate officers.
"Without major police reform, it will not be possible to overcome the present institutional difficulties that make torture a routine practice at police stations," the ALRC reiterated in its recommendations to the committee. In its recommendations, the ALRC also urged the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Sri Lanka to take a more proactive role against torture. The HRC was also urged to work towards establishing command responsibility among senior police officers for torture, to treat torture as an institutional problem in the policing system in Sri Lanka and to set deadlines to complete inquiries.

"The HRC should take a leading role in developing policy mechanisms for adequate compensation for torture victims and should develop a comprehensive rehabilitation programme for torture victims," the ALRC said.
Source: Human Rights Watch

60th anniversary of the United Nations

"UN 60" lights up UNHQ in NYC

22 October 2005 – Both sides of the United Nations Secretariat building in New York are illuminated through Monday with the words “UN 60” in commemoration of the world body’s six decades of existence.

By strategically closing blinds and turning on lights throughout the 40-story building, organizers have spelled a message that can be seen from great distances both east and west of the Headquarters in midtown Manhattan.

The lighting, which began Friday evening, will continue through Monday, exactly 60 years to the day since the UN Charter was ratified.

Numerous commemorative events are planned across the world and at Headquarters, where on Monday Secretary-General Kofi Annan will open a full programme of activities by laying a wreath in honour of fallen colleagues.

The façade of the UN tower has been used on rare occasions in the past – including the fiftieth anniversary – to convey a multi-storey message through the dramatic use of lights.

In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the UN Charter. The Organization officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States – then the five permanent members of the Security Council – and a majority of other signatories.

UN News Service

InterWorld Radio News Bulletin

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared three days of national mourning for the passengers of a commercial airliner which crashed on Saturday night. The aircraft, which was on its way to the capital, Abuja, crashed and burst into flames shortly after take-off from Lagos. All 117 people on board the Bellview Airlines Boeing 737 were killed.
The European Commission is to consider an outright ban on live bird imports after a parrot died of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in UK quarantine. The parrot was imported from South America where there has been no reported cases. Currently imports into the EU are banned only from countries which have bird flu cases, such as Romania, Thailand and Turkey. More than 60 people have died from the deadly bird flu strain in Asia after coming into contact with infected birds. Some experts fear it could mutate to transfer between humans, resulting in a global flu pandemic. Britain and Germany are pushing for the ban.
Brazilians soundly rejected a proposal to ban the sale of guns in a referendum on Sunday. Sixty-four percent of those who voted rejected a ban. The proposal was backed by the government and the United Nations and opposed by the gun ownership lobby. Brazil has the world’s highest death toll from firearms with someone shot every 15 minutes. The UN has said that guns are the biggest cause of death among young people in Brazil. Under existing laws, any Brazilian over the age of 25 can buy a firearm, provided they pass background checks.
A senior UN official says the international community has failed to grasp the scale of the recent earthquake in Pakistan. Rashid Khalikov was speaking more than two weeks after disaster struck the region. Only 90 million dollars of international aid has been pledged which falls short of the 312 million dollars needed for immediate relief operations. The quake which hit the capital of Pakistani Kashmir killed more than 50,000 people and left more than three million homeless.
A senior UN official has urged states sending troops to peacekeeping operations to root out sexual abuse and exploitation. Addressing a meeting in New York last week the Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno described recent reported cases of UN officials solicitating sex workers as shameful. Over the past 20 months, more than 221 peacekeepers have been investigated, 10 civilians fired and over 88 uniformed personnel repatriated. Earlier in the year a United Nations inquiry found that UN peacekeepers working in DR Congo sexually abused girls as young as 13.
A leading scientist has warned that extra aid for Africa, pledged by the G8 nations, could be cancelled out by the effects of global warming. The President of the Royal Society, Lord May said he feared the extra money would need to be spent dealing with the impact of climage change on poor people. World leaders have promised to tackle climate change and agreed a series of measures but failed to set any targets or deadlines. Lord May’s concerns were expressed ahead of a conference on climate change due next week in London.
END of NEWS Bulletin

United Nations Special Representative to Visit Somalia for

Nairobi - 24 October 2005: The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia (SRSG), Francois Lonseny Fall, will travel to Jowhar, Somalia tomorrow (Tuesday, 25 October) for consultations with President, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed. The visit is part of an ongoing effort to find a peaceful solution to differences within the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs).
Those differences include the location of the TFIs. President Yusuf and Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi, have relocated to Jowhar, maintaining that Mogadishu is insecure. The Speaker of the Parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, some cabinet members and a number of Parliamentarians, insist that Mogadishu is safe and that the Government belongs there. Ambassador Fall has urged all Cabinet Ministers to enter into a dialogue that will move them closer to reconciliation.
The Security Council this month expressed its deep concern about the persistent state of insecurity in Somalia and the absence of political dialogue. The Council also urged the international community and neighbouring countries to continue to support an inclusive political dialogue among the TFI leaders.
Ambassador Fall’s visit follows recent consultations on the Somalia situation with leaders in Moscow, Stockholm, Cairo, Addis Ababa and at the EC/EU headquarters in Brussels. Ambassador Fall has also maintained close contact with the League of Arab States, the Commission of the African Union and countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Source: United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), Oct. 24, 2005