AU vows to strengthen training of Somali police ahead of exit

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

The African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) vowed on Sunday to intensify training and mentoring of Somali security forces (SPF) to assume more security responsibilities in the Horn of Africa nation.

Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia Simon Mulongo said the plan is aimed at building the capacity of the SPF to internationally acceptable standards.

“This year is going to see more intensified training, more intensified mentoring of those who are there (SPF officers) and that means recruitment, training and forming the officer core that will see the police leap from the current stage to a higher one,” Mulongo said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

AMISOM troops are expected to relinquish the security of the key towns to the Somali forces through a conditions-based transition plan, to allow them take the lead responsibility as part of the planned exit.

Under the exit strategy, some 1,000 soldiers were to be withdrawn from Somalia by Dec. 31, 2017 and AMISOM will deploy an extra 500 police officers to strengthen training and mentoring of Somali police.

The move in is line with a United Nations Security Council resolution, passed in August 2017, which authorized AMISOM to start the transfer of security responsibilities to Somali national security forces.

The UN Security Council also sanctioned the gradual reduction of AMISOM troops during the transition period.

Source: Xinhua