African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is conducting training for Somali police officers in Mogadishu to enhance their capacity to secure the 2016 electoral process.
The first batch of officers, drawn from various police stations in the city, commenced the training organized by AMISOM Police, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and funded by the Japanese government.
Among the topics officers will be taken through are the importance of elections and election security, voting systems, electoral justice and the role of police and security forces before, during and after elections.
Others are election security targets, threat assessment and security measures to counter identified threats, causes and the prevention of electoral violence, and screening and searches among others.
The training was opened, Monday, by the SPF Police Commissioner, Maj. Gen. Mohamed Sheikh Hassan Hamud, and the AMISOM Police Training Coordinator, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Francis Ayitey Aryee.
Speaking at the function, ACP Aryee noted that the forthcoming elections place an onerous task on the police and challenged them to help create a conducive environment for peaceful and secure parliamentary and presidential elections.
“You must display the highest level of professionalism, you must be alert, approachable and you must be vigilant because there are spoilers who do not want the elections to take place and may try to derail the electoral process. As police, you must not allow that to happen,” he noted.
In his remarks, Maj. Gen. Hamud observed that the police will play a lead role in safeguarding the electoral process and urged the officers to take the training seriously, to help deter bad elements from frustrating the process.
“What we need from you is to take the lead role in the training and share the same knowledge with your colleagues. In this training you will learn how to secure the upcoming elections, and when you return to your stations teach others who did not get the opportunity to undertake this training,” he added.
ACP Aryee noted that it is the role of the police to secure the elections, adding that like in any other country, internal security is the responsibility of the police. He said it is crucial for Somali police officers to improve their skills and knowledge on securing elections.
“The successful conduct of general elections will constitute a big step forward in the peace process and progress of Somalia towards the attainment of normalcy, development and stability,” he observed.
The training is part of a grand programme being conducted by AMISOM Police and is aimed at educating and preparing the police for the forthcoming electoral process.