A contingent of 160 Uganda Police officers will this weekend return from Somalia after completing a year tour of duty in the war torn Horn of Africa country.
The team from Uganda’s Formed Police Unit, is part of a multi-national police force under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is training and mentoring Somali police officers.
Unlike Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) which operates in the interior of Somalia, Uganda police operates in Mogadishu. Specifically, Uganda police is part of the Mogadishu airport security detail.
Uganda first deployed officers of the Formed Police Unit in 2012. Since then, they have played a critical role in the Mission’s operations and provided professional support to Somali Police Force. The outgoing contingent is the sixth deployment.
Simon Mulongo, the Deputy AU Special Representative for Somalia lauded the Uganda police team for their contribution towards pacifying Somalia outgoing during a medal awards ceremony held in their honour, in the capital Mogadishu on Wednesday.
“Because of your contribution and support to the Somali Police Force, we have been able to have a spell of stability and peace in Mogadishu. Businesses flourish as we speak. Investment is growing at a very fast rate. The flights to Mogadishu have increased. In fact, Mogadishu International Airport is now one of the busiest in the whole of eastern Africa. And this is simply because of your contribution to this kind of environment as the police component,” he said.
The AMISOM police Chief Rex Dundun said they are proud of the Uganda Formed Police and grateful for the service they have provided in Somalia.
The outgoing contingent which was deployed in Somalia on 4 August 2017, will be replaced by a new police contingent, under the command of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Richard Onyait.
Grace Turyagumanawe, the Director Peace Support Operations in Uganda Police Force, who is on a working visit to Somalia said during the award ceremony that the returning contingent will be received with honour.
“Uganda Police Force receives you with high salutations for the contributions and well representation you made on behalf of Uganda, to AMISOM. This is a Pan-African spirit which should be emulated by all police officers here and at home,” he said.
Officers from the Formed Police Unit provide oversight to patrols in the city and the Federal Member States, to ensure maintenance of law and order, train their Somali counterparts and contribute to public order management; participate in cordon and search operations; and provide VIP protection services, among other tasks.