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African Union trains team to carry out vetting of police recruits in Somalia

MOGADISHU– The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has conducted training for officials of South West State who will vet recruits seeking to join the police force.

AMISOM Police in collaboration with the South West State, held the training workshop on Tuesday, ahead of the recruitment of about 400 personnel for the South West Police Force.

The South West state vetting committee, which includes opinion leaders, will be responsible for mobilizing the public to enlist in the Police Force, taking into consideration representation from the various clans.

All six members of the South West State police vetting committee were trained on the approved guidelines for police vetting and police recruitment policy in the one-day workshop held in Baidoa which was facilitated by UN Police advisors and AMISOM Police.

The yet to be recruited South West police personnel will secure the Baidoa-Mogadishu Main Supply Route and provide security in neighbouring population centers. This is in line with the AMISOM Concept of Operations and Somalia Transition Plan.

During the recruitment exercise, the vetting committee members will liaise with authorities to identify recruits at the registration center. They will also coordinate and assist various clan elders to identify and distribute enrolment forms to prospective police recruits.

Maxwell Chikunguru, the AMISOM Police Reforms, Restructuring, and Development Coordinator, said the vetting committee will support the process to recruit the right people into the police force.

Chikunguru added that the training workshop is in support of efforts to recruit competent and adequate police personnel to take over policing responsibilities when AMISOM eventually exits Somalia in 2021.

He also emphasised AMISOM’s commitment to train Somali Security Forces to carry out effective policing.

“Our mandate is to build the capacity of the Somali Police Force. What you have witnessed today is the training of South West State committee members so that we start the recruitment of 400 State police officers to secure the Mogadishu-Baidoa Main Supply Route,” said Chikunguru.

He added that it is in line with the National Security Architecture and the Somalia Transition Plan. He revealed similar exercises are on-going in HirShabelle while Galmudug and Jubbaland will start soon.

Isak Barrow, the South West State Deputy Minister of Internal Security, assured when the process is complete, the police will effectively combat crime.

He appealed to AMISOM and development partners to train more police personnel to liberate areas and supply routes that often come under siege by terrorists.

Isak expressed their willingness to support the exercise. “The South West State is ready for this and it is our prayer that AMISOM and partners will prioritize this to enable commencement of training. When the envisaged 400 police recruits are deployed along the Main Supply Routes, they will restore law and order and defeat the terrorist Al-Shabaab.”


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