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General News of Sunday, 3 November 2013

Source: Insight Newspaper

Ghana Police in Somalia

Not long ago, the Ghana Police Service denied a report on the website of the Kofi Annan International Training Centre that a group of 90 police officers were undergoing training to be deployed in Somalia. In the denial the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Cephas Tetteh, added that there are no plans for Ghanaian security officers to be sent to Somalia for peacekeeping missions and urged the public to disregard the report.

His denial created the impression that there are currently no Ghanaian Police officers in Somalia. We publish below an African Union (AU) news report on the role that Ghana Police are currently playing in Somalia. This is contained on the website of AMISOM, http://amisom-au.org/mission-profile/amisom-police/

“Last year, Somalia adopted a National Security and Stabilisation Plan which focuses on strategic policy issues relating to security and rule of law, including justice, and encompasses various civilian and military institutions that are vital to national security. It acknowledges the role of AMISOM in facilitating locally owned, comprehensive and broad?based security sector development.

The AMISOM Police component has the mandate to train, mentor, monitor and advise the Somali Police Force (SPF) with the aim of transforming it into a credible and effective organisation adhering to strict international standards.

The component currently has 363 police officers drawn from police officers drawn from 7 African countries including Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Gambia. These include a Senior Leadership Team, Individual Police Officers and 2 Formed Police Units of 140 officers each. It is headed by the AMISOM Police Commissioner, Dr. Charles Makono.

AMISOM Police provide mentoring and advisory support to the SPF on basic police duties, such as human rights observation, crime prevention strategies, community policing and search procedures. It has conducted training for nearly a third of the SPF’s 5000 officers including running a refresher course for middle level officers, training new recruits as well as running courses in traffic management and criminal investigation techniques.

AMISOM Police has deployed two Formed Police Units in Mogadishu – the first to be deployed by the African Union. The FPUs come from Uganda and Nigeria and play a crucial role in ensuring improved security in the liberated areas through joint patrols with the SPF, assisting in Public Order Management and provision of VIP escorts as well as providing protection to Individual Police Officers to co-locate with the SPF in as many police stations as possible.”

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