AMISOM and Somali police secure elections in South West State
The Somali Police Force (SPF) in close collaboration with the police component of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have secured the election of eight Members of Parliament, including the youngest, 25-year-old Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, in the ongoing parliamentary elections in South West State of Somalia. The SPF and AMISOM are part of the National Election Security Taskforce, which is the highest security body tasked with securing Somalia’s ongoing national electoral process together with Somali security agencies. The taskforce is chaired by the SPF, and supported by AMISOM Police. Speaking after the parliamentary elections in Baidoa, AMISOM Police Coordinator in South West State, Superintendent of Police (SP) Agbodeka Simon, congratulated the joint forces for their close collaboration. “Before this election, we took the SPF through a lot of election security scenario planning. We shared knowledge and experience with them as our counterparts,” SP Simon said. The Baidoa police commander, Mukhtar Ahmed Ibrahim, said they are up to the task of securing the elections. “The overall security is good, and our role is to ensure the security of the delegates who elect the candidates so that they come to the election venues and go back home without any incident. We also secure the election venues during the voting process to ensure it is safe. We hope that the entire election process will be smooth and conclude peacefully,” said commander Mukhtar. In the South West State, there will be two elections, one in Baidoa and the other in Barawe. With the process completed in Baidoa, Barawe is next. On 27 January 2022, AMISOM and the SPF, together with the South West State election implementation team and local Barawe district officials, toured the agreed venue for the election in Barawe to assess the security situation. In a bid to ensure elections security coordination runs smoothly, AMISOM and Somali security forces have set up Joint Operations Centres (JOCs) across all Federal States that report to the JOC headquarters in Mogadishu.