Somali Police officers complete training on elections security

A Somali Police officer receives a certificate at the end of a Training of Trainers course on elections security and crowd control in Mogadishu, Somalia on 31 August 2021.

A total of 27 officers of the Somalia Police Force drawn from the Federal Government of Somalia, Puntland and Galmudug Federal Member States have completed a five-day packed course on how to effectively secure Somalia’s ongoing elections.

The training, held at General Kahiye Police Academy in Mogadishu, was organized by the Police component of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somalia Police Force Directorate for Training, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The course was focused on building the capacity of the participants on legal frameworks for elections, roles and responsibilities of police commanders and security forces in elections, public order management, and it also provided guidelines on gender-related security issues.

AMISOM Police is mandated to train, mentor and advise the Somalia Police Force (SPF) to help transform it into a credible and effective force comparable to global policing standards.

The AMISOM Strategic Management Advisor for Reforms Restructuring and Development, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Agapitus Ecotu, said the SPF will lead in providing security at election venues and for election officials and delegates while AMISOM’s role is to provide support to SPF.

“It is expected that the officers who have received this training will share it with their colleagues to build the capacity of their forces in the various states,” said ACP Ecotu.

The State Minister for Interior, Farhan Ali Mohamed, who officiated the closing ceremony, hoped the skills gained would enhance the officers’ ability to prepare, plan and conduct security operations during the elections.

“We are in an election period and security is very important to the democratic process. The coordination between the Somalia Police officers and AMISOM will ensure that we have a credible, secure and fair election,” said the Minister.

The Deputy Commissioner of the Somalia Police Force, Brig. Gen. Osman Abdullahi Mohamed, said with the support of AMISOM, high standards of professionalism and commitment to duty were being inculcated into the SPF.

“It is our expectation that the sacrifice you have made, staying away from your loved ones and your homes will be useful. It is now time for you to go and strengthen the capacity and competence of other officers in your areas of jurisdiction. You have a duty to provide reliable security during the election,” Brig. Gen. Osman told the graduating class.