Saturday, February 02, 2013
Members of the Somali police force wave before their departure for a three-month training course in Djibouti. [Stuart Price/AU-UN IST/AFP]
Two years after training 500 Somali police officers, the Djiboutian police force has begun training 200 more.
The Somali police officers, who arrived in Djibouti on January 18th, are enrolled at the Idriss Farah Abaneh Police School, where they are learning how to maintain order and improve security. The new batch of officers includes 16 women, and the training will last about three months.
"The Somali policemen and policewomen will face the onerous task of establishing security and stability after two decades of chaos," said Somali Consul to Djibouti Abdirahman Mohamed Hirabe.
"President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's government has laid the foundations of a police force capable of keeping Somalis safe effectively," he told Sabahi. He thanked Djibouti, Italy and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for supporting his country in this training effort.
"The police officers being trained by our allies will protect the safety of Somalis and arrest criminals and gangsters by conducting police investigations just like any other police force in the world," Hirabe said.
He said the officers will be deployed in areas liberated from al-Shabaab by Somali and AMISOM forces.
"Somalis and Djiboutians share the same language, the same culture and the same religion," he said, adding that it is easier for Somali forces to be trained in Somali.
Somali police are trained in Djibouti under an agreement between Djibouti and the African Union signed in January 2012.
Adaweh Abdi, a legal advisor at the Djiboutian Ministry of the Interior, said, "The training provided to the 200 Somali police officers covers basic police duties, investigation techniques, crime prevention and judicial inquiry procedures."
"Once they have acquired this basic knowledge, the Somali police officers trained here will be able to protect their fellow citizens," he told Sabahi. "The aim is to do a thorough job. In order to do that, it is crucial for this kind of training to be repeated; that is how we will achieve satisfactory results in the short term."
Mohamed Dabaleh, a manager at the department of bilateral relations within the Djiboutian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, "Djibouti, like every country that has contributed troops to AMISOM, as well as the international community need to do everything in their power to bring peace, security and stability back to Somalia."
"We will continue to help Somalia because it is a brother country and what happens there affects us one way or another," he told Sabahi.