By Jane B. Mansaray .
Sierra Leone Police officers are among the third group of police officers set to leave Somalia after a year’s deployment under the African Union Mission.
During their stay in Somalia, Sierra Leone contingent alongside other African countries; Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia spearheaded training and mentorship activities for Somali Police officers in various police stations in the country under what they described as Individual Police Officers (IPOs).
Thirty-eight (38) of them were awarded medals and certificates at a send-off ceremony organized by AMISOM Police in Mogadishu. “We all want to see a better Somalia, so that we can also enjoy peace and stability in the region,” Ms. Christine Alalo, AMISOM Acting Police Commissioner told the outgoing officers. She encouraged them to use their experiences in Somalia to improve their cultural interactions in their respective countries.
Williams Anoff Amoani, an IPO from Ghana Police Service expressed satisfaction with the role his team had played in improving policing in Somalia. “We handled the succession plan very well…We trained and prepared our Somali colleagues to take over from us,” he said, referring to the capacity building programmes carried out by AMISOM to empower the police force.
Rosemary Muriungi, an IPO from Kenya said as a result of intensive training and mentoring, Somali police officers were taking the lead in policing the country. She also noted that the police officers had performed exceptionally well in resolving sexual and gender-based violence, and cases involving juveniles. “They are also conducting patrol duties quite effectively as a routine check,” she added.
AMISOM Police is mandated to train and mentor the Somali Police Force to achieve internationally acceptable policing standards.