Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 17 Ugandan police officers have been awarded with medals and certificates for their distinguished services in Somalia.
They are part of the group that left for Somalia a year ago and have among other things participated in training of Somalia National Police and helped to establish fleet units and mechanical workshops.
At least 100 Uganda police officers are in Somalia serving under the police component of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The senior officers among others is Isa Ssemwogerere from police’s public relations office were awarded by AMISOM Police Commissioner- CP Augustine Magnus Kailie.
Magnus paid glowing tribute to the officers for their dedication, professionalism, and contribution to achieving AMISOM’s mandate.
“I want to congratulate you for your good work during the last 12 months. We appreciate your contribution towards the implementation of AMISOM Police mandate,” Magnus said.
Magnus challenged the 17 senior police officers and their other colleagues returning from Somalia next week to share the knowledge they have acquired with colleagues but also use the wealth they have accumulated wisely.
Police officers who go for missions in countries like Somalia earn 700 to 1000 US dollars monthly depending on rank and expertise which makes them return with reason amount of money.
“You have acquired knowledge and wealth. You must use them wisely. I would like to advise you all to employ your time in improving your life and the lives of others around you. I implore you that when you go back home, you should not be the same as you came. You should observe human rights. As a peacekeeper, you have been mentoring the Somali Police. So, when you go back home, tell them you are a different person, with international experience, and that you observe human rights,” Magnus said.
Apparently, there’s on-going exercise of recruitment of 120 police officers to go and serve under United Nations missions in Somalia and other conflicts flogged countries. At least 903 police officers from Constables to Commissioner sat for first set of interviews last month.
United Nations Security Council in its resolution 2472 (2019) adopted on 31 May this year, authorized AMISOM to deploy 1,040 police personnel including five Formed Police Units and Individual Police Officers (IPOs).
These units provide operational support such as public order management and VIP escort and protection, while the IPOs train, mentor, and advise the Somali Police officers. The individual police personnel have been playing a critical in the stabilization process of Somalia, especially with the maintenance of law and order in liberated areas.
“As AMISOM police, we are mandated to help build the capacity of the Somali Police Force. For instance, in HirShabelle State, we have overseen the recruitment, training, and deployment of SPF officers. In that way, we have contributed to building the capacity of the Somalis such that they can take over security responsibilities when AMISOM exits Somalia in 2021,” Ssemwogerere who is set to return said.
Ssemwogerere has been the group’s public relations and information officer for the team he travelled with late last year.
Others awarded include AMISOM Police Chief of Staff Rex Dundun, AMISOM Police Operations Coordinator Daniel Ali Gwambal, and AMISOM Police Reform, Restructuring and Development Coordinator Maxwell Chikunguru.
Ibrahim Saiga, the outgoing Uganda contingent Police Commander Saiga Ibrahim expressed gratitude to the AMISOM Senior Leadership Team for the opportunity rendered to him and his fellow officers, stating that much as they have trained the Somali Police Force officers, they have also learned a lot from the time they’ve been on mission.