Seventeen officers from Uganda Police Force have completed their one-year tour of duty, where they served under the police component of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
AMISOM Police Commissioner Augustine Magnus Kailie on Sunday presided over the send-off medal parade in Mogadishu, and paid glowing tribute to the officers for their dedication, professionalism and contribution to achieving AMISOM’s mandate.
“I want to congratulate you for your good work during the last 12 months. We appreciate your contribution towards the implementation of AMISOM Police mandate,” Commissioner Magnus Kailie said.
“You have acquired knowledge and wealth. You must use them wisely. I would like to advise you all to employ your time in improving your life and the lives of others around you. I implore you that when you go back home, you should not be the same as you came. You should observe human rights. As a peacekeeper, you have been mentoring the Somali Police. So, when you go back home, tell them you are a different person, with international experience, and that you observe human rights,” he advised.
The UN Security Council in its resolution 2472 (2019) adopted on 31 May this year, authorized AMISOM to deploy 1,040 police personnel including five Formed Police Units and Individual Police Officers (IPOs).
The Formed Police Units provide operational support such as public order management and VIP escort and protection, while the IPOs train, mentor, and advise the Somali Police officers.
Individual police personnel have been playing a critical in the stabilization process of Somalia, especially with the maintenance of law and order in liberated areas.
“As AMISOM Police, we are mandated to help build the capacity of the Somali Police Force. For instance, in HirShabelle State, we have overseen the recruitment, training and deployment of SPF officers. In that way, we have contributed in building the capacity of the Somalis such that they can take over security responsibilities when AMISOM exits Somalia in 2021,” said outgoing AMISOM Police Public Information Officer, Isah Semwogerere.
Commissioner Kailie also decorated the officers with medals of honour and gave them certificates, together with AMISOM Police Chief of Staff Rex Dundun, AMISOM Police Operations Coordinator Daniel Ali Gwambal, and AMISOM Police Reform, Restructuring and Development Coordinator Maxwell Chikunguru.
Outgoing Uganda contingent Police Commander Saiga Ibrahim expressed gratitude to the AMISOM Senior Leadership Team for the opportunity rendered to him and his fellow officers, stating that much as they have trained the Somali Police Force officers, they have also learnt a lot from the mission.
A poignant moment during this ceremony was observing a minute of silence in honour of former acting AMISOM Police Commissioner, the late Christine Alalo, who perished in a plane crash in Ethiopia in March this year.