The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has honored 28 Individual Police Officers (IPOs) for their dedication and service to the mission during their year-long deployment in Somalia.
The officers from Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Zambia were awarded with medals and certificates at a send-off ceremony in Mogadishu on Tuesday.
AMISOM Police Commissioner, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP), Augustine Magnus Kailie, urged the officers to utilize the knowledge gained serving in Somalia for individual growth and for the improvement of others on return to their countries.
“You have served humanity. You have shared knowledge with the Somali people, and learnt from the Somali experience. You have learnt from the Somali Police Force (SPF), and the Somali people. You are leaving with some amount of experience which I hope you will share with the people back home,” Kailie said.
He also urged the officers to always adhere to the international policing standards and respect human rights which they advocated for while working as mentors, trainers and advisors to the Somali Police Force.
Speaking on behalf of the outgoing officers, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Emmanuel Rono from Kenya, said the officers were honoured to have played a part in building the capacity of the SPF.
“We have gained international experience, as well as support the police commissioner in achieving the AMISOM Police mandate. Most of the officers who are rotating out today were deployed in strategic positions and they were able to deliver to expectations,” said SSP Emmanuel Rono.
Sergeant Charlotte Osei Tutu from Ghana Police, said serving on the mission was a privilege and a learning experience.
“I have been training the SPF on community policing, traffic management, middle management, junior management and TOT (Trainer of Trainers). By doing so, the Somali officers are also able to train their own police officers. I think I have contributed a lot, and I am proud to have been on this mission,” said Sgt. Osei Tutu.
AMISOM Police comprises Individual Police Officers (IPOs) and Formed Police Units (FPUs). IPOs train, mentor, and advise the SPF, while the FPU personnel provide operational support such as public order management, cordon and search, and VIP escort and protection.
Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda are the Police Contributing Countries to AMISOM.