A contingent of 160 Uganda police officers is due to leave Somalia over the weekend after a year long tour of duty in Somalia.
The team from Uganda’s Formed Police Unit, is part of a multi-national police force under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is training and mentoring Somali police officers.
Uganda first deployed officers of the Formed Police Unit in 2012. Since then, they have played a critical role in the Mission’s operations and provided professional support to their counterparts in the Somali Police Force. The outgoing contingent is the sixth deployment.
Speaking at the sendoff event in Mogadishu on Tuesday, Simon Mulongo the Deputy AU Special Representative for Somalia underscored the important roles that Uganda police has played in the stabilization and development of Somalia.
“Because of your contribution and support to the Somali Police Force, we have been able to have a some stability and peace in Mogadishu. Business is flourishing as we speak. Investment is growing at a very fast rate,” he said.
He added that flights to Mogadishu have increased and that Mogadishu International Airport is now one of the busiest in eastern Africa.
Additionally, Rex Dundun, the Somalia Police Chief of Staff in his address thanked Uganda police saying that “AMISOM Police is very proud of the Uganda Formed Police 6, and indeed grateful for the service they have provided in Somalia.”
AIGP Grace Turyagumanawe, the Director Peace Support Operations also noted that “Uganda Police Force is grateful for the contributions made by the police officers in Somalia in the just concluded assignment.”
“UPF receives you with high salutations for the contributions and well representation you made on behalf of Uganda, to AMISOM. This is a Pan-African spirit which should be emulated by all police officers here and at home,” Turyagumanawe said.
Officers from the Formed Police Unit provide oversight to patrols in the city and the Federal Member States, to ensure maintenance of law and order, train their Somali counterparts and contribute to public order management, participate in cordon and search operations and provide VIP protection services, among other tasks.
It has been established that the outgoing contingent which deployed in Somalia on 4 August 2017, will be replaced by a new police contingent from Uganda, under the command of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Richard Onyait.
Senior AMISOM officials, Uganda’s Deputy Ambassador to Somalia Maj. Gen. Nathan Mugisha and Brig. Gen. Mohamed Dore – the Somali Police Force Liaison Officer attended the medal awards ceremony.