The streets of Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu, are unusually calm and quiet this Ramadan season. A spot check on the city streets during the night tell only one story; that of peace and tranquility.
The tranquil atmosphere being witnessed in Mogadishu is due to daily joint security patrols being undertaken by the Somali Police Force (SPF) and the Formed Police Unit(FPU) of the African Union Mission in Somalia(AMISOM).
Under this new operation, SPF is working closely with AMISOM Police to deter any potential threats in areas perceived to be prone to crime, as well as vulnerable spots that become easy targets to Al Shabaab militants.
At Kilometer Zero, Parliament Road and Kilometer 4, known for drive by shootings and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) attacks, round the clock police deployment has been effected. During the night, Somali Police Force and AMISOM undertake nightlong patrols on these roads and others considered as dangerous spots.
“We have done a very heavy and planned deployment for this month because this month is where these people, the terrorist Al-Shabaab plan to do a lot of havoc to the community and the AMISOM staff in Somalia. Now we are coming to 15 days since we deployed and I want to assure you that the security is very okay and we have not registered any incident in our area of responsibility,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Samuel Bamuzibire, the Commander of the Uganda Formed Police Unit.
Impromptu checkpoints where vehicles are thoroughly checked, have been erected across the city and are manned by Somali police supported by Uganda and Nigerian police from the Formed Unit, a section of AMISOM Police.
Business thrives deep into the night, thanks to enhanced security, as city dwellers go about their business with utmost confidence.
“Happy Ramadan to everyone. We are fasting very amicably. I am a resident of Abdul Aziz camp but I am going to Banadir on foot. I can get transport but I prefer to walk since security has improved. The Somali Police Force and AMISOM are securing the whole city. They behave well with you and we feel comfortable with them,” says a resident of Mogadishu, Ibrahim Sheikh Ali Abdi.
Abdi Mohamed Hassan, another civilian working at a fuel filling station at Kilometer 4, is appreciative of the efforts by the police to keep the city safe.
He says, “I welcome the joint operation done by the Somali Police Force and AMISOM. The security is very reliable.”
An Inspector of Police with the Somali Police Force, Mohamed Haji Hassan, who currently heads the police unit at parliament buildings says the new measures have been effective so far.
“Before things (crime) used to happen but lately nothing has happened because of the new training and the new leadership of the police whose methodology is very effective against the enemy. This has resulted in the improvement of security in the city. We will be here from now until sunrise,” he adds.