The Somali Police Force (SPF) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Police component which includes the Uganda Police on Sunday commenced intensified security patrols in Mogadishu as part of an initiative to improve security ahead of the month of Ramadan and the upcoming elections.
Over the years, SPF and AMISOM Police have been carrying out joint operations in Mogadishu and the other regions.
Sunday’s renewed commitment to the patrols was a reinforcement of the longstanding collaboration with revised strategies and ground strength, according to Somali Police officials.
“As the Holy month of Ramadan is about to begin and the country is also preparing for important elections, the Somali Police Force and all other security forces are on high alert to provide security to Mogadishu and the entire country,” said Lt. Col. Said Ali, Commander Wadajir Police Station on Sunday.
Joint patrols, Ali said, are aimed at strengthening ongoing security efforts.
“Today we embark on intensified patrols of Mogadishu city and surrounding areas. This work is actually part of AMISOM’s mandate in Somalia,” he added.
The patrols serve as a deterrence to potential aggressors and they also enable the people of Mogadishu to move freely within the city, especially in and around areas under SPF and AMISOM security patrols.
In addition, they are important in reinforcing the security partnership between the Somali Police Force and AMISOM.
Addressing the Formed Police Unit personnel who will be executing the patrols jointly with SPF, AMISOM Police Operations Coordinator, DCP Daniel Ali Gwambal urged the officers to diligently execute the role of supporting their Somalia counterparts by protecting and respecting the rights of the Somali people.
“Our presence patrolling the city of Mogadishu has enhanced the confidence of the Somalis as they transact their businesses. I plead with you that during the course of your duty, respect the citizens and observe all human rights as is enshrined in our Standard Operating Procedures,” said DCP Gwambal.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Allan Tugiirize, who will be coordinating operations between Individual Police Officers and Formed Police Unit on the joint patrols, said the joint teams would, effective immediately, carry out day-and-night operations to ensure that the Somali people experience a peaceful month of Ramadan.
“Today, we have launched day-and-night patrols. We have handed over the teams that will be doing patrols within the towns of Mogadishu. We are requesting the community to collaborate with them as AMISOM continues to give support to Somali police in terms of equipment, capacity building and training. As we enter the holy month of Ramadan, AMISOM will be available to support and protect the citizens of Somalia,” said SP Tugiirize.
This latest initiative comes at a time when Somalia is preparing for elections. SPF and AMISOM Police are both part of the National Election Security Taskforce which is the highest security organ tasked with securing Somalia’s elections.
It is chaired by the SPF, with support from AMISOM Police and will provide security at election venues and for officials to ensure that the process is safe and secure.