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A security guard surveys the scene following an attack in Mogadishu. Courtesy of PA Images

Making Mogadishu Safe: Localisation, Policing and Sustainable Security

Alice Hills
Whitehall Papers, 31 July 2018
Horn of Africa, Tackling Extremism, Domestic Security, National Security, Terrorism, Africa
Tailoring approaches to local conditions has been an important aspect of community security in Mogadishu.

How does one manage everyday security in fragile, strategically significant, post-conflict cities? In this Whitehall Paper, Alice Hills looks at security in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia and one of the most notoriously insecure cities in the world. Based on an analysis of the city’s neighbourhood watch schemes set up in some districts of Mogadishu, the Paper provides a detailed view of how the city’s inhabitants try to manage street-level security threats.

Hills considers the roles and perceptions of local actors, from the police and politicians to ordinary inhabitants, vis-à-vis those of international actors. Her analysis takes into consideration the attempts by international sponsors to influence the city’s security architecture and policing practices, and how these interact with local efforts, needs and expectations of local security. While the everyday security concerns of local inhabitants and broader concerns about terrorist violence may seem separate, this Whitehall Paper shows the interface between counterterrorism and community safety, community cohesion and civilian policing, as they form part of a coherent whole based on the need for physical security.

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