Beledweyne – Residents in Hiiran region have agreed to embrace community policing to counter cases of crime and violent extremism.
The decision was reached at the end of a two-day community policing engagement, on Tuesday, organized by the police component of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which was attended by residents, representatives from civil organizations and security personnel.
AMISOM Police Public Information Officer, Philip Mukasa, said the objective of the meeting was to build and deepen partnership between residents and the police in the fight against crime, particularly violent extremism.
“AMISOM Police have been working with the SPF (Somali Police Force) in Belet Weyne to engage the community and dialogue on how to prevent violent extremism,” Mr. Mukasa explained.
He said AMISOM will continue to work together with the SPF and community leaders to educate them on countering violent extremism to restore lasting peace and security.
Mr. Mukasa’s sentiments were echoed by Abdikarim Muhumed Takoy, the Deputy Governor of Hiiran region in charge of security, who emphasized cooperation between the local community and the police was important to countering extremist groups that compromise the country’s peace and stability efforts.
Col. Isak Ali Abdulle, the commander of Belet Weyne Police, urged the communities to work closely with security forces by volunteering information to tackle violent crimes and help secure neighbourhoods.
“The community is the backbone of security. It is important that we work together to counter dissidents who want to disrupt peace and security within the society,” Col. Abdulle stated.
Arab Yusuf Noor, the commander of Belet Weyne Stabilization Forces, urged residents to embrace community policing, saying both the police and the public have a role to play in bringing back peace and security.
“The police gets information and tip-off from the community and in turn the community depends on the police for their security. As police officers we have sworn an oath to protect lives and properties however we need the support and cooperation of the citizenry to be successful,” he noted.
Ms. Anab Omar Adow, a participant, thanked AMISOM for organizing the meeting and called for similar engagements in other parts of the country.
AMISOM is facilitating and spearheading several of such engagements as part of efforts to strengthen relations between residents and the Somali Police Force under the Community Policing initiative.