African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] says it is in preparation for Somali takeover of security responsibilities after neutralising the Al Shabaab militants’ threat in the Horn of Africa nation.
Amisom will continue to prioritise on reducing threats posed by Al Shabaab and will enable the gradual handing over of security responsibilities to the Somali security forces contingent, the mission said.
It highlighted the abilities of the Somali security forces and political and security progress in Somalia.
“AMISOM will continue to implement its mandate for a peaceful and democratic Somalia,” the mission said expanding its presence in recovered areas.
“Amisom will continue with mentoring and training of SPF to enable them take on the full responsibility of maintaining law and order in the country.”
Strengthening Somali police
The police component of AMISOM conducted a 10-day training course on countering Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for the Somali Police Force (SPF) in Mogadishu at the close of 2017.
The training was aimed at equipping SPF officers with vital skills on preventing, disposing and countering IED attacks by the Al-Shabaab militants.
IEDs have become Al-Shabaab’s weapon of choice in its asymmetrical warfare in the major towns and main supply routes has been singled out as the biggest threat to Somalia’s security and stability.
Speaking during the training, Inspector of Police (IP), Hassan Guhad Abdullahi, AMISOM Police Counter Terrorism Trainer, noted that the training was critical given that IEDs are currently the commonly used weapon by Al-Shabaab militants to cause death and destruction in the country.
“They (trainees) learnt to identify opportunities that these perpetrators can use to infiltrate and carry out (IED) attacks, and therefore have a kind of preventive and proactive approach to seal those opportunities and deny the bad guys so that this does not happen,” IP Hassan from the Kenya Police Service noted.
The officers were taken through a number of topics focusing on countering the use of IEDs and securing civilians.
“One of the main things they learnt is how to deny the bad guys the opportunity and also to degrade their capability to do so, based on intelligence,” IP Hassan explained.
During the training, the officers carried out mock drills, on how to respond to various scenarios, related to an IED attack.
Abdi Aden Ga’al, a SPF officer, described the training as timely, adding that it will help security personnel to effectively counter the use of IEDs.
“I have learned a lot of valuable things which will help me and my colleagues and the Somali Police Force. It (training) was very beneficial, with regard to my profession,” said Mr. Abdi, one of the 15 SPF officers attending the training.
The 10-day training was funded by the Japanese government through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
AMISOM Police has conducted similar trainings in the federal member states of South West and Jubbaland, where it trained a similar number of police officers in each state.
Since 2011, at least 2000 Al Shabaab have defected and have been integrated back into the community thanks to the amnesty offered by the Federal Government of Somalia and AMISOM’s stabilisation efforts.