Mogadishu – The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has honoured 19 police officers from Nigeria and Sierra Leone for contributing to ongoing international efforts to restore peace and security in Somalia.
The Individual Police Officers (IPOs), eight of whom were Nigerian and 11 from Sierra Leone, on Friday, completed a year of service with AMISOM and are set to return to their home countries.
The AMISOM Police Commissioner, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Augustine Magnus Kailie, presided over a ceremony to award African Union service medals and certificates to the officers.
Kailie commended the officers for training and mentoring their Somali police counterparts in preparation for an envisaged AMISOM exit when the Somali security forces will assume responsibility for the country’s security.
"It is not what you acquire in the world that makes people remember you. It’s the hearts that you touch, the people you assisted, they will ever remain thinking of you,” AIGP Kailie told the officers.
"You came to serve the people of Somalia to have peace, to enjoy relative peace, and that you have done. You have touched the lives of the Somali people,” he added.
Kailie also urged the officers to use the experience attained while with AMISOM and to be ambassadors of Somalia and tell the world that the country is enjoying relative peace.
Speaking on behalf of the officers, Chief Superintendent of Police Esther Mary Kaintor from Sierra Leone saluted her colleagues for their dedication to restoring peace in Somalia.
"We have served and have gained valuable experiences, which we shall share back home. For that, we are grateful. I want to thank the Police Contributing Countries for sending their best officers to serve AMISOM. Their contribution is never small for the achievement of peace. A network has been created in the sub-region, which will always bring us together even outside Somalia,” CSP Kaintor said.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Matilda Thomas Umiah, highlighted the daily tasks the officers performed under AMISOM.
"As a mentor, we went out every day to mentor the Somali Police Force personnel on various aspects of policing. They include beats, they include care and custody of prisoners. Whatever it is that they have to do, we have tried to mentor them to keep up with international best practices,” said DSP Umiah.