AU Police evaluates operations and plans in HirShabelle State
A delegation of senior police officers from the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, visited Jowhar, the Administrative Capital of HirShabelle State of Somalia, to take stock of the on-going training and mentoring of the police in the region. AMISOM police has a team of Individual Police Officers, IPOs, deployed in Jowhar to help build the capacity in the region through training and mentoring. This is the second visit by the top delegation to HirShabelle State in a fortnight, the first being a visit to Beletweyne, the Capital of Hiran, late last month. The delegation led by AMISOM Police Chief of Staff, Deputy Commissioner of Police ,DCP, Rex Dundun, met with the leadership of the military, civilian and police components in the region. The delegation also met with their Somali counterparts, led by Col. Hassan Mohamed Ibrahim, the HirShabelle Deputy Police Commissioner and later visited the Jowhar Police Academy to inspect its preparedness for an upcoming intake of fresh police recruits. DCP, Rex Dundun, noted that the purpose of the visit was to assess on-going capacity building programs of the police in the region, as the country prepares to hold elections. “The purpose of this visit is for an official assessment of the workings of AMISOM police in HirShabelle State, especially with regard to the upcoming elections. We are here to assess our performance, so as to identify gaps and how to bridge those gaps,” Rex Dundun explained. AMISOM Police is a member of the National Election Security Task Force, the highest security agency tasked with securing the elections, and will play an important role in securing the elections by providing support to the Somali Police Force, the lead agency in securing the exercise. “We are planning ahead to ensure that we have a free, fair and peaceful election here in Somalia,” he said. Col. Hassan Mohamed Ibrahim, the HirShabelle Deputy Police Commissioner said they had fruitful discussions with the delegation on how to deepen collaboration to ensure peace and security prevails in the region during the upcoming elections, through community policing initiatives. “We have inspected HirShabelle police academy and assessed its level of preparedness, given that we intend to commence training for the fourth batch of police officers within this month. We separately also discussed how to coordinate in securing the upcoming elections in Jowhar. Somali police and AMISOM are required to ensure the security of the elections jointly” added Col Hassan. He added, “We have discussed a planned training for electoral officers who will work in the operational office for election security.” The AMISOM Police component is charged with training and mentoring the Somali Police Force to improve its professionalism and effectiveness. The AU Police component comprises IPOs, Formed Police Units (FPU) and the Senior Leadership Team.