Seventeen police officers serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have been awarded medals for distinguished service.
The officers from various Police Contributing Countries (PCCs), who have completed their tour of duty, were decorated with medals and awarded certificates by the Acting AMISOM Police Commissioner, Christine Alalo, at a function held on Saturday in Mogadishu.
AMISOM Police Chief of Staff, Rex Dundun, and AMISOM Police Coordinator for Operations, Daniel Ali Gwambal, were among the senior African Union (AU) Mission officers in attendance.
Speaking at the event, Ms. Alalo commended the officers for their dedicated service and called on others to emulate them in their duties.
“It is a call to everybody that when you are here, put in your best because we are here to ensure that we lift our Somali counterparts from the stage where they were to the next stage, which should be even better than where we found them,” Ms. Alalo observed.
Of the 17, seven officers are from Kenya, six from Sierra Leone, three from Uganda and one from Zambia. Other Police Contributing Countries (PCCs) include Nigeria and Ghana.
The achievements of the group, Ms. Alalo noted, include helping revive the Interpol Department of the Somali Police Force (SPF), establishment of a data base and helping the Somali Police set up a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security system.
She also thanked the PCCs for deploying the officers to Somalia, saying the gesture was a sign of true Pan Africanism of helping a neighbour in need.
For his part, Mr. Dundun hailed the officers for being steadfast and hardworking during their tour of duty.
“They have been dedicated. They have been very hard working. They have made a difference and of course their contribution is being appreciated today as they rotate out of the Mission,” he added.
The AMISOM Police component is made up of the Formed Police Units (FPUs) and Individual Police Officers (IPOs). FPUs provide operational support, while the IPOs train, mentor and advice the SPF officers.