AU mission to improve Somalia’s security ahead of elections

MOGADISHU (SD) – The African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) commenced plans to step up Somalia’s security head of elections in the Horn of Africa nation.

In a statement issued on Friday in Mogadishu, the mission said its senior officials were in Baidoa in southwest Somalia for meetings on strengthening security and cooperation ahead of upcoming elections in the country.

The meeting was also attended by AMISOM police and military component as well as Somali police officials.

Simon Mulongo, Amisom deputy head of the mission said the participants discussed issues of re-aligning and harmonising mission’s activities in the region and in the sector.

“Particularly, we looked at how the Formed Police Unit, together with Individual Police Officers, can better collaborate with Somali police to ensure that they strengthen matters of policing, especially as we plan for a secure electoral process in the whole of Southwest State,” Mulongon said.

The statement further said the Amisom police component and the Somali Police Force (SPF) are both parts of the national election taskforce, the highest security team tasked with securing the elections will have more discussions to chat out plans to over challenge.

The AU mission said the task force will have satellite command centers across the country including Baidoa in Southwest State.

Augustine Kailie, Amisom police commissioner, reiterated the importance of working closely with Somali forces to improve security to, during and in the aftermath of the electoral process.

“We came here (Baidoa) to harmonize our operations. Elections are approaching, so we have to provide joint security. The police will be involved, the military will be involved, the civilian component will also be involved. Because of that, we have put modalities in place on how to jointly provide security for the elections,” Kailie said.

Somalia plans to hold parliamentary and presidential elections this year as the incumbent president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s mandate comes to an end this February.

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