Civil society groups take on greater role in Jarablus security


Civil society groups in the city of Jarablus in northern Syria are engaging with local authorities to prevent the return of extremist groups such as ISIS, which formerly ruled over the area.

In the city of Jarablus, northern Syria, civil society groups have converged with the local security services to ensure the safety of the city’s residents. One of the civil society groups, called The Day After, recently held a conference with members of the security services, local representatives and civil society representatives to discuss how to further safeguard the region from a number of different security threats.

The conference, which was entitled Civil Society is United with Public Security and all its Institutions, was convened primarily to counter the threat of unexploded ordnance and car or motorcycle bombs.

“The seminar was held to discuss what we can offer as civil society organisations and revolutionary offices in order to help public security maintain control over his region,” said Rami Mustafa, outreach officer for The Next Day organisation.

Attendees to the conference hope that through cooperation between civil society groups and the city’s security apparatus, greater public awareness can be spread to warn the residents of Jarablus of how to approach and deal with threats when they are encountered. For example, encouraging residents to report  suspicious behaviour among residents as well as vehicles. Also taught is how to identify unexploded ordnance.

“We, as [the] police, immediately send a patrol to the site, we cut off the streets and secure the area and we keep civilians away from the area,” said Lieutenant Mohammed ali-Yousif, Head of Jarablus Police. “Then we send in the engineering unit, which specialises in mines, with the canine unit to dismantle the explosive device or the car or bike bomb,” added the Lieutenant.

As a result of the coordination between civil society and security organisations, community awareness of both security threats and the relics of war left behind by groups such as ISIS, which are often found hidden amongst rubble, will potentially save many lives.