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‘Get-To-Know-Your-Police’ Initiative Launched in Somalia

Storyline:National News, Security

Maj. Gen. Bashir Abdi Mohamed, the Somali Police Commissioner, speaks during the launch of a community policing program in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 9 August 2018. AMISOM Photo / Omar AbdisalanBy AMISOM PUBLIC INFORMATION SERVICES

Mogadishu, 10 August 2018An ambitious plan seeking to build trust and promote partnerships between Somali Police and local communities was launched yesterday.

Dubbed, “Get-To-Know-Your-Police” or – Baro Booliiskaaga; the initiative aims at forging closer ties between the police and members of the public.

“We have today re-organised the concept of community policing, for closer cooperation between the public and the police,” said General Bashir Abdi Mohamed, the Somali Police Commissioner, during the official launch of the initiative in the capital of Mogadishu.

Supported by the police component of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Get-To-Know-Your-Police initiative will be rolled out in the regional states, to enhance security in the grassroots. “We are formulating smarter ways to effectively bring policing services closer to the population,” Gen. Bashir stated.

He added, “We have to make sure that the population is safe from any threats and that their property is also protected.” While underscoring the importance of earning public trust, he cautioned police officers against misusing their powers.

“The police and the community need each other to maintain law and order. As we work for and serve the people, the Somali Police Force must observe diligence and discipline,” the police chief said.

He lauded the efforts by AMISOM Police to make the plan a reality.

The head of the custodial corps, Gen. Bashir Mohamed Jama (Bashir Goobe) acknowledged that there had been remarkable improvements in the Somali Police Force, as a result of the reforms being implemented. “Day by day, our institutions are getting stronger and stronger. Roles and responsibilities are being duly assigned to their respective entities. That is a sign of real change,” he said.

Newly recruited Somali Police Force (SPF) personnel attend the launch of a community policing program in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 9 August 2018. AMISOM Photo / Omar Abdisalan

The initiative, which is looking to build on gains already made on the policing front, was launched against a backdrop of the recent disbandment of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), which provided oversight on security in the capital; and its integration into the Somali Police Force, following a decision made by the country’s National Security Council.

“No security force is allowed to conduct security duties inside Mogadishu, other than the Somali Police Force,” Gen. Bashir cautioned.

AMISOM Police Operations Coordinator ACP Ali Daniel Gwambal, who attended the launch, expressed the commitment of the AU Police in building the capacity of the Somali police force to enable them fulfil their policing objectives.

Yesterday’s launch sets the stage for transformative reforms and a revision of policies regarding policing in the country.