Ghana Police Service (GPS) has deployed a contingent of 113 police officers to step up stabilization efforts in Somalia, the African Union peacekeeping mission said Tuesday.
The mission said the newly-deployed personnel from the Formed Police Unit (FPU) to serve under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) arrived in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Monday to begin their one-year tour of duty and help build the capacity of their counterparts in the Somali Police Force (SPF).
Deputy contingent commander of the newly-deployed unit Felicia Amo Boadu said her team was ready to advance the mandate of the mission and work collaboratively with the SPF.
“We are happy to be in Somalia to help in the peacebuilding process that’s going on. We will work in coordination with the Somali Police Force officers in line with the AMISOM mandate,” said Boadu in a statement issued by the AU mission in Mogadishu.
The new contingent will join an advance party of 47 other officers, who had earlier jetted into the country, to constitute a detachment of 160 personnel that will be based in Baidoa, the administrative capital of South-West State of Somalia.
AMISOM Police Commissioner Augustine Magnus Kailie said the police officers had arrived at a critical time when Somalia is holding elections and urged them to play a key role in securing the ongoing elections and serve the mission diligently.
“We have an assignment at hand to provide security for the ongoing elections. These elections are not a day’s business but will span perhaps up to January. So, my word of caution to you is that you have to be very careful and dedicated to your duty,” said Kailie.
This is the second FPU contingent to be deployed by Ghana, to serve under AMISOM, replacing the first contingent, whose tour of duty had ended.
Kailie urged the newly-deployed officers to respect the culture of the local community and of other people serving in the mission. He also appealed to them to be disciplined and professional in discharging their duties.
The AMISOM Police component is made up of the Formed Police Units (FPUs) which provide operational support and Individual Police Officers (IPOs). FPUs train, mentor and advise the SPF officers.
AMISOM Police plays a critical role in ensuring that the Somali Police Force is adequately capacitated and is capable of taking full charge of policing activities in the country.