Importance of collaboration highlighted as underpinning progress in improving Somali law enforcement
Mogadishu – The importance of collaboration among Somalia’s national and state law enforcement agencies and their international partners was highlighted today as a key factor in efforts to improve the country’s policing and rule of law.
“Considerable progress has been achieved since the previous Executive Board meeting, in increasing Mogadishu’s security, strengthening coordination mechanisms between Federal Member States, and increasing intelligence flow,” the country’s Minister of Internal Security, Mohamed Abukar Islow Duale, said today.
“Despite our efforts our nation faces a complex array of security challenges. It is the intention, will, and continued commitment of the police and Federal Member States to offset these challenges by implementing and creating a cohesive environment where peace flourishes and insecurity is turned into security for all Somalis,” he added.
The government official was speaking at the latest meeting of the Executive Board of the Somalia Joint Police Programme (JPP), which took place amid the roll-out of a new policing model throughout Somalia’s five Federal Member States and the Banadir region.
The overarching goal of the JPP is to support peace, security and the application of the rule of law in Somalia by increasing coordination under the Comprehensive Approach to Security plan, in alignment with the New Partnership for Somalia for Peace, Stability and Prosperity agreement, and the New Policing Model – a key pillar of the country’s new National Security Architecture.
Those present at the meeting also included the UN’s Secretary-General Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, Raisedon Zenenga, and the Somali Police Force (SPF)’s Commissioner-General Abdi Hassan, as well as senior representatives from the European Union, United Kingdom, and Germany.
Progress despite challenges
In his opening remarks, Minister Duale also thanked international donors for their support to the JPP, as well as broader security and justice programmes and integrated initiatives across Somalia, despite increasing challenges in the security context.
The UN’s Mr. Zenenga, who also serves as the Executive Board’s co-chair, noted that the JPP’s success to date is largely attributed to the successful collaboration between Federal and Federal Member States.
“This particular programme, from a UN perspective, has been a great success and so effective because it is an excellent example of successful collaboration between the UN, the government, Federal Member States, donors and partners,” he said.
At the meeting, Police Commissioner-General Hassan noted that a strong and accountable police force is critical for the country’s long-term stability and security.
“As a matter of top priority we must work toward a capable and well-equipped Darwish police unit capable of taking over from the Somali National Army and basic police services to counter IED (improvised explosive devices) capability, as we have seen a sharp spike in the usage of IED and landmines by al Shabab that have threatened security and police forces,” the top police officer said.
The Deputy General of Internal Security for Puntland State, Guuled Saadiq Mohamed, flagged that the JPP provided much-needed safety and security in communities, adding that, “We are grateful for the transparency and expertise that the programme supports, and the implementation of community policing.”
The JPP is a five-year programme led by the Federal Government of Somalia, with funding from the European Union, UK Aid, and Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. Its overarching aim is to increase police visibility, presence, capability and accountability, and it supports state and federal police and the judicial system by providing non-lethal support, infrastructure, stipends, basic and specialised training, legal framework and policy development support, and institutional coordination assistance toward development and reform of Somali police and judicial systems.
Coordinated through the JPP Secretariat under the stewardship of the UN Office of Project Services (UNOPS), the JPP is implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UNOPS, in partnership with the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) and UN Police (UNPOL).