Sierra Leonean Police Officers Feted For Distinguished Service In Somalia
More than 100 Sierra Leonean police officers stationed in Jubbaland were awarded medals for their exemplary contribution in securing the federal member state. The 159 officers from the Formed Police Unit (FPU) were honoured by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) after completing their one-year tour of duty in Jubbaland State. “The FPU contingent from Sierra Leone has given us a reason to celebrate because of their excellent and professional performance of their duties in Jubbaland State and helping AMISOM execute its mandate of securing Somalia,” said the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, during the ceremony held in Kismayo on Saturday. Mr. Mulongo said the deployment of the contingent to Kismayo had laid a firm foundation for the transformation of Jubbaland Police into a formidable force capable of protecting not only the federal member state but also Somalia. The ceremony was attended by senior officials from AMISOM, United Nations and Jubbaland administration, among them, the Acting AMISOM Police Commissioner, Rex Dundun; Jubbaland State Deputy Security Minister, Isack Mohamed Hassan, and the head of United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) regional office in Kismayo, Magnus Bjarnason. Mr. Dundun thanked the FPU contingent for working closely with the Jubbaland administration in developing capacity of Jubbaland Police Force and protecting communities against insurgents. The officers were deployed to Jubbaland last year to provide operational support to Jubbaland State Police Force, secure communities and train local security officers among others. The contingent, which is the first FPU from Sierra Leone, is part of the additional police officers authorized by the UN Security Council to be deployed in Somalia in its resolution 2372 of 2017. The resolution sanctioned a minimum of 1,040 AMISOM Police personnel and five Formed Police Units to help Somalia establish a strong police force and bring back law and order in liberated areas. The Acting Coordinator of AMISOM Police in Jubbaland State, Akan Unaam, described the officers as hardworking men and women and urged the incoming team to emulate outgoing contingent. His sentiments were echoed by Mr. Bjarnason, who said the unit performed their duties with distinction and in the interest of the local communities.