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AU enhances operational support to Somali police

MOGADISHU (SD) – African Union will increase mentorship and operational support to Somali police forces after the deployment of a contingent of 144 police officers from Nigeria barely a week after Somali military took over the security strategies from AMISOM.

In a statement, AMISOM said the officers will work on providing VIP escort and protection services, training and assisting the SPF in public order management, conducting joint patrols with their Somali counterparts and securing key government installations and high-level events.

“They are here in order to fulfil the mandate of AMISOM with regards to operational support to the Somalis and at the same time to mentor the Somali Police Force. There are certain specific duties that are also incumbent on them to perform while they are here such as regular patrols at checkpoints, guard static duties and other duties that involve general policing,” AMISOM Police Operations Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Daniel Ali Gwamba.

The commander of the newly deployed unit, Superintendent of Police (SP) Samuel Ita, said his officers were eager to begin discharging their duties, to help advance the mission’s mandate.

“We have come to play our part towards the restoration of lasting peace here in Somalia. We intend to train and mentor the Somali police to ensure that they meet international standards,” SP Ita said.

According to the statement, 30 police officers will be deployed to Beletweyne in HirShabelle State, while the rest will serve in various roles in the capital, Mogadishu.

The arrival of the new contingent is a major boost to law-and-order efforts, as they will be working in concert with their Somali counterparts in ensuring improved security in liberated areas.

Mid this month, AMISOM and SNA commanders inked agreement on strategies for Somali security forces to take a lead role in security operations going forward.

The Somali Transition Plan is a key deliverable in the AMISOM mandate agreed upon in December 2017, when the Federal Government of Somalia and the international community agreed on a conditions-based transition plan to enable Somalia to assume full responsibility for its security.

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