UNSOM hosts workshop on Somalia’s New Policing Model

Maria Axfeldt, Police Advisor with UNSOM in Baidoa, gives a briefing on a new policing model during a workshop training session in Baidoa, Somalia, on 6 December, 2016. UN Photo.

13 Dec 2016

UNSOM hosts workshop on Somalia’s New Policing Model

A three-day workshop to discuss modalities for implementing Somalia’s New Policing Model was held last week in Baidoa, the administrative capital of South West state.

This is the first time the new model has been introduced at the level of a federal member state, following the model’s endorsement by the National Leadership Forum earlier  this year.

During a consultative conference held in Nairobi last March, the New Policing Model was incorporated in the Heegan Plan, a strategic policy document focusing on the establishment of the Somali Federal Police for the period between 2017 and 2025.

The workshop’s participants were drawn from South West State’s ministries of Internal Security and Planning, Somali Police officers and representatives from the National Intelligence Service Agency among others.

“It is a workshop of a technical committee for the New Policing Model, and we have three main objectives. The first objective is to have a better understanding of the role of the technical committee to implement the New Policing Model for South West State Police,” said UNSOM Senior Police Advisor Hans Wanderstein.

“Secondly, we want to have a better understanding of what this New Policing Model means. And we also want to start with a planning process so we can implement this New Policing Model,” he added.

Issack Sheikh Abdirahman, a Director at the Ministry of Internal Security of South West State, said the aim of the technical committee is to spearhead the implementation of the new model to enable South West State to establish a stronger police force.

The model contains federal and state-level components that will report to their respective federal and state-level ministries of internal security. Each component will be responsible for recruitment and training of police personnel.

“It was politically agreed between the federal government and member states that the police be separated into federal police and state police. This is the start of the implementation process,” added Mr. Abdirahman.

Once implemented, he said, there will be a clear separation of the federal and state-level police.

“Previously the police was one whole entity with a centralized command, but now there will be a federal police with a new role exclusively for them and a member state police with the normal policing role,” he added.

Habiba Ahmed Ali, a member of the Somali Police Force who participated in the training, said the workshop expected the technical committee to explore ways in which both the federal and state police can function together under the federal system.