Somalia: AU mission to step up Police Force training ahead of exit
MOGADISHU, Somalia - AMISOM will this year intensify training and mentoring of the Somali Police Force (SPF) officers to enable them to assume more security responsibilities in the country.
The move in is line with the United Nations Security Council resolution, passed in August last year, which authorized the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to commence the transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali national security forces. The Security Council also sanctioned the gradual reduction of AMISOM troops during the transition period.
Speaking during a medal awards ceremony, held on Saturday, for a group of Nigerian police officers, who have completed their tour of duty, the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, said the plan is aimed at building the capacity of the SPF to internationally acceptable standards to enable it to discharge its security duties.
“This year is going to see more intensified training, more intensified mentoring of those who are there (Somali Police Force officers) and that means the recruitment, training and forming the officer core that will see the police leap from the current stage to a higher one,” Mulongo noted.
To ensure effective training and mentorship, the DSRCC said AMISOM has embarked on an Operation Readiness Assessment (ORA) of the police in the federal member states to identify security needs and ways of addressing them.
“The Operation Readiness Assessment entails finding out the levels of capacities and capabilities of the police force and we are looking at the age, how old are they; the training, how much training and which type of training and the numbers, the physical presence itself. We are looking at the equipment that they have, the logistics, command and control and the facilities that they have there,” he explained.
The DSRCC hailed the Nigerian Formed Police Unit (FPU) for their distinguished service to the Mission and their contribution to the stabilization process in Somalia.
“You have not only managed to train, the police force of Somalia, you have also been participating in various activities of policing nature that includes and are not limited to law and order, public order management, issues of mentoring, provision of escorts, protection and issues of ensuring standards and accountability,” Mr. Mulongo stated, while thanking the Nigerian government for deploying the officers to the mission.
Present at the function was the AMISOM Police Chief of Staff, Rex Dundun, and the AMISOM Police Coordinator for Operations, Daniel Ali Gwambal.
For his part, Dundun noted that the Nigerian contingent had been involved in a number of activities during their tour of duty, which they managed to execute with distinction and high level of professionalism.
“The AMISOM Police Commissioner has noted with delight that while performing these duties, members of this unit have been exemplary, diligent, committed and dedicated in their selfless service to humanity and attainment of peace in Somalia,” he observed.
The Commander of the Nigerian Contingent, Uba Shehu, hailed the leadership of the Mission for the support and guidance rendered to them during their tour of duty.
The AMISOM Police Component is made up of the Formed Police Units (FPUs) and Individual Police Officers (IPOs). While the FPUs provide the Somali Police Force with operational support, the IPOs train, mentor and advice the officers.