UNSOM Police Commissioner
"UNSOM Police continues to play a key role in bringing back safety and security for the civilian population throughout the country by helping the Somali police to transform into a much more capable and accountable institution, both at federal and state levels.”
UNSOM Police provides strategic advice to the Somali government at the federal and state levels aiming to serve the Somali people and uphold the rule of law in order to establish and strengthen capable, accountable and rights based police services. UNSOM Police also coordinates closely with AMISOM, the UN country team and international partners and donors on policing issues.
UNSOM Police is led by the Police Commissioner, Lucien Vermeir (Belgium), and has an authorized strength of 19 staff. The UN police officers in UNSOM are deployed in Mogadishu and in the Somali Federal Member States of HirShabelle, Jubaland, Puntland and South West State. As of 1 February 2018, 14 seconded police officers from six UN Member States – Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Nepal and Sweden – are deployed to UNSOM.
New Policing Model (NPM)
UNSOM Police is supporting the implementation of the New Policing Model both at the federal and member state levels based on the political agreement at the 2016 National Leadership Forum. The agreement was renewed by the Government on 16 April 2017 and endorsed by the Security Pact at the London Conference on Somalia on 11 May 2017. The New Policing Model provides an organizational structure of policing at federal level and member state level that will report to their respective federal and state-level ministries responsible for policing. Each ministry will be responsible for recruitment and training of police personnel based on principles, standards and requirements, agreed collectively.
Technical Committees which oversee the implementation of the New Policing Model are operating in Galmudug, HirShabelle, Jubaland, Puntland and South West State. The Technical committees include representatives from the respective ministry responsible for policing and its State Police High Command. The Committees developed State Police Plans which were endorsed by the National Security Council on 3 December 2017. Prioritized projects emerging from these plans will be presented to the international community to seek adequate support.
UNSOM Police provided mentoring and monitoring activities for the recently launched joint patrol program and initiated a joint patrol training for 200 Police officers from Galmudug and Puntland as well as support to the Gaalkacyo Ceasefire Team Advisory Group in the disputed northern city.
Police officers from the UN Standing Police Capacity were deployed to the area to cooperate with AMISOM on the training of joint patrol units consisting of security service personnel from both member state governments, which has helped to uphold the ceasefire.
Further training initiatives such as on Community Policing under the umbrella of the Joint Rule of Law Programme and on security equipment efforts are in progress to strengthen the operational capacity of Community Policing aiming to foster the promotion of safety and security for the people of Gaalkayco.
Preventing and tackling sexual and gender-based violence
UNSOM Police works in close cooperation with UNSOM’s women and child protection units, all UN agencies and the Somali Police to provide a coordinated multi-sectoral approach to prevent and investigate sexual and gender-based violence, conflict-related sexual violence and violence against children. The close cooperation aims to enhance and improve the status of the victim and the quality of investigation. Awareness raising and supporting women to be recruited for the Somali Police are measures that are already being taken in this regard.
In December 2015, the UN convened a workshop to establish pilot gender-responsive community-policing units. Trainings focusing on the collection of evidence in cases of sexual and gender-based violence and interview techniques required to obtain critical information from victims and witnesses have been provided to the Somali Police.
UNSOM Police has a designated focal point for sexual and gender-based violence and for mainstreaming gender perspectives in the Somali security services.
Cooperation with AMISOM
UNSOM Police is working together with the AMISOM Police component to train and mentor the Somali Police. Trainings have been provided on international human rights principles to ensure the Somali Police upholds its responsibility to protect civilians. The themes of these trainings include Protection of Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Children in armed conflicts, Human Rights in Police Search and Seizure and Human Rights in Pre-Trial Detention.
UNSOM police is collocated within the AMISOM Headquarters in Mogadishu to strengthen the cooperation and support between the African Union (AMISOM) and United Nations (UNSOM) operations. The collocation at headquarters level is mirrored in the Federal Member States, where AMISOM Police maintains a close cooperation with the international police officers deployed by both organizations.
Sub-Working Group Police
The Sub-Working Group Police under the strand 2b of the security coordination mechanism known as Comprehensive Approach on Security replaces the former Police Working Group as a high level strategic platform established for the Somali Police Services and the international community. UNSOM Police is supporting the federal Ministry of Internal Security, the Somali Police Force and the German Embassy, which co-chair this group. The body links the internal Somali Police Joint Management Structure, comprising the Joint Technical Committee, the Council of Police Commissioner and the Conference of Ministers of (Internal) Security with those foreign countries supporting Somali Police development.
Professional Police Development Board
Both the Somali Police and its international partners agree on the need to coordinate and synchronize all police training activities and other professional development related activities provided to the Somali Police – both at the federal level and within the Federal Member States. The Police Professional Development Board (PPDB) is co-chaired by the Somali Police Force and UNSOM Police, and currently serves as a permanent board for the coordination and synchronization of police training activities. The PPDB is also entitled to certify, review or audit police training activities.
Members of the development board include designated delegates from the Somali Police – both from the federal level and federal member states, representatives from relevant international organizations and programmes (including, among others, UNSOM, UNDP, UNODC, AMISOM, EUDEL and EUCAP Somalia) and representatives from relevant bilateral partners.
In 2017, the standardized police recruit curriculum and a respective train-the-trainer program was approved by the federal and the Somali Federal Member States police organizations and provides the basis for common training standards in Somalia for police recruits. Based on the Police Plans developed or pending to be developed at federal and state level under the umbrella of the New Policing Model, subsequent training programs and policies require major attention in 2018.
Human Rights Due Diligence Policy
UNSOM Police is implementing the United Nations Human Rights Due Diligence Policy by aiding in the risk assessments of various non-UN security forces/services. Mitigation measures in line with this Policy are incorporated into the implementation process of the New Policing Model.
The United Nations ensures gender-sensitive policing throughout the work of its Police as an operational necessity to address the differentiated security needs of women, men, girls and boys. In addition, female police officers act as role models for gender equality, inspiring women and girls to advocate for their own rights and pursue careers in law enforcement. Female police officers, moreover, provide a greater sense of security to women and children and improve access and support from law enforcement agencies to local women.
In Security Council Resolution 2101 (2013) UNSOM is mandated to help build the capacity of the Federal Government of Somalia to promote respect for human rights and woman’s empowerment and to prevent conflict related gender-based violence, including through the provision of Gender Advisors.