Ghana, Djibouti to deploy additional police personnel to Somalia

AMISOM police officers during a meeting with officers from the Ghana Police Service in Mogadishu on Thursday .Ghana is set to send more police troops in Somalia PHOTO COURTESY

Mogadishu, SOMALIA: Ghana and Djibouti are set to deploy additional police personnel to the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in Somalia.

Ghana which presently has a team of 39 Individual Police Officers is set to deploy to Somalia, a contingent of 160 police personnel from the country’s Formed Police Unit (FPU) while Djibouti which only has a contingent of 960 troops have expressed interest in deploying its first Formed Police Unit.

Ghana ’s and Djibouti’s move is in response to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2431(2018), which recommended an increment in numbers of police personnel under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Resolution 2431 authorizes member states of the African Union to maintain deployment of AMISOM until 31 May 2019, including a minimum of 1,040 police personnel, including five Formed Police Units (FPUs), under the ongoing transition.

AMISOM police component currently has three FPUs, and is seeking to bridge the shortfall, to arrive at authorized numbers.

“Hopefully, by the mid-March, we would have concluded training and assessment. We will then begin the next phase which includes inspection of the contingent-owned equipment, ready to be airlifted and transported to Mogadishu and onward to Baidoa,”  Said the director of International relations at the Ghana Police Service Sanid Adamu.

Earlier in the week, a four-member Ghanaian delegation visited Baidoa, the administrative capital of the South West State, where the Ghanaian FPU will be based, to assess the security situation and available facilities, as part of the pre-deployment assessment exercise.

“Ghana’s contribution will help to fill the gaps in terms of the capacity and the needs for the Police component,” the Deputy AU Special Representative for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, told the visiting officials, during a meeting in Mogadishu on Thursday.

Mr.  Mulongo welcomed the move by Ghana to deploy a Formed Police Unit to Somalia, saying it would boost AMISOM’s efficiency, as it consolidates and sustains law and order in the liberated areas.

Formed Police Units carry out joint security operations alongside their Somali counterparts.

The operations include patrols, cordon and search, and management of checkpoints, to enhance the operational capabilities of the Somali police officers.

The FPUs also support their Somali counterparts in public order management and provision of armed escort for VIPs, as well as close protection services to AMISOM Individual Police Officers, who collocate at various police stations across the country, to provide day-to-day mentorship to Somali police officers.