IOM Iraq Holds Community Policing Conference on Ninewa
Baghdad - In cooperation with Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, IOM Iraq held a conference on 20 December on Community Policing in Ninewa Governorate, which aims to promote cooperation between law enforcement agencies and community members towards peace and security.
Ninewa was deeply affected by the occupation by ISIL and associated conflict, with heavy damage to its infrastructure – especially in its capital Mosul – and extensive displacement, with more than 941,000 individuals still displaced across the governorate.
In 2016, with funding from the German Federal Foreign Office, IOM Iraq started the project to strengthen community policing in retaken areas of Ninewa and other conflict-affected areas in Iraq. This is done through the establishment of Community Policing Forums (CPFs) which are inclusive platforms that involve police officers, local leaders, civil society organization representatives and community members, where citizens can raise and discuss their security concerns. CPFs identify and develop initiatives that lead to safer communities, protect the most vulnerable and enhance cooperation, transparency and mutual trust between these actors. CPF members analyze the available resources in their respective communities and assess the ability of a wide range of actors to find solutions to situations that are potentially dangerous and harmful. As such, CPFs are tools for conflict prevention.
The conference followed a series of activities in November and December that included the establishment of five new CPFs in Ninewa and training for more than 400 individuals, including police officers, community members and civil society representatives, on applying community policing in a context of post-conflict returns.
The conference was preceded by a three-day workshop exploring the role of women in security dialogue. Over 80 women and men from across Iraq participated, including police, civil society representatives and the community members, to discuss the impact of gender-based violence on community security, the role of women in violent extremism and how women and children affiliated with ISIL should be treated. Workshop participants formed working groups on these topics, and discussed how to implement action plans developed in the event.
The Community Policing conference on Ninewa was held in Baghdad and was attended by government officials, notably Mr. Saad Maan, spokesman of the Ministry of Interior and the Head of Community Police Directorate, Brigadier General Khalid Al Mhannah, NGO staff and CPF representatives from Mosul, Fallujah and Baghdad.
Brigadier General Saad Maan, spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, thanked the German Government, IOM and guests for their efforts in support of the CP model. “We have been working very hard to put Iraqi citizens first. There will be no sustainable security in the governorates unless citizens are part of it, and that is exactly the foundation of this initiative, by strengthening community policing forums across the country, especially in Ninewa. We have achieved great results in stabilizing the country thanks to the cooperation with our international partners,” said Saad Maan.
Speakers also included CPF members from Al-Amiriat Al-Fallujah and Mosul (Baasheka), police officers, community members and civil society organization representatives, who introduced and discussed the successes and challenges of the CPFs in Ninewa. The conference gave CPF members the opportunity to network and share experiences.
“The sharing of experiences, successes and challenges of Community Policing Forums in retaken areas will help us to improve the next phase of this project and build on mutual trust that has been established”, said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.
“I am very grateful for the cooperation between the government of Iraq and Germany on this Community Policing project,” said Dr. Cyrill Nunn, German Ambassador to Iraq. “We have high hopes that the success of the project can contribute to the much-needed reconciliation and stabilization in Iraq,” added the Ambassador, highlighting the valuable contribution of CPFs for the stabilization of the Iraqi social fabric.
A total of 66 CPFs have been established across Iraq; of which 42 with the support of IOM Iraq; the other 24 have been independently established by local police and communities.
The "Community Policing in Iraq" booklet features stories from Community Policing Forums, and the community members who have received assistance through them. To access the booklet click here.
For more information please contact:
Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org