The purpose of the training is to enable police officers contain crowd disturbances such as riots.
PIC: Somalia's Police units undergoing a specialised training with the African Union Mission in Somalia. (Credit: AMISOM)
KISMAYO - The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Police component has embarked on offering specialised training to regional police forces to prepare them for the gradual handover of security responsibility during the transition period.
Jubbaland and Darwish police units based in Kismayo are the latest beneficiaries of a training course on public order management at the Darwish Police Academy in Kismayo.
The purpose of the training is to enable police officers contain crowd disturbances such as riots, demonstrations and strikes that occur in urban centres without the use of lethal weapons.
According to the Coordinating Officer of AMISOM Police in Jubbaland state, Ernest Martin Abilu, said the purpose of the course was to equip Jubbaland’s riot police with skills on preventing crimes related to public unrest without harming those involved.
“This is a requirement for modern policing because when we are handling public crimes, we are not required to use lethal weapons, we use non-lethal weapons because we are dealing with momentary opponents, we are dealing with rioters who are our own citizens and these are not enemies, so we don’t need to injure them,” the AMISOM Police Coordinating Officer for Jubbaland state added.
Abilu said the officers were trained on how to professionally handle public order crimes such as riots, strikes, violent demonstrations and mob justice among others.
He noted that the officers who had undergone the training could now comfortably handle public order crimes without maiming or causing death to members of the public.
Col Mohamed Ahmed Qaato, the Commander of Darwish Police Academy, said the trainings will bring tangible benefits to the officers in protecting the rule of law in communities they serve.
"This training helps in preventing riots and other problems that occur and it is an important training provided by AMISOM to Jubbaland forces. We thank AMISOM for the support,” said Col. Qaato.
The officer added that the training will improve the skills of Darwish forces in containing riots and clan clashes and also help the force reorganise.
In March, AMISOM Police helped launch the biometric registration of the Darwish forces, ahead of their integration into Somali national security forces.
The registration of the pro-government group took place in Gedo, Lower Juba and Middle Juba regions.
The integration of regional forces is part of the security sector reforms, critical in stabilising the country.
Mustafa Ali Mukhtar, a police officer who benefited from the training, said he had received important skills that would enable him do his work professionally.
“The concept we have today is different from what we had before, because we gained a lot from this training.
We were taught how to treat and handle the society during riots. If it happens and there are children and old people taking part in the riots, usage of tear gas is not allowed,” said Mustafa Ali Mukhtar, one of the officers who participated in the training.
The training on handling public crime is part of AMISOM Police Training Unit’s programme to equip various units of Somalia’s police with the necessary policing skills needed to effectively maintain law and order.
Other trainings offered include sexual and gender-based violence, community policing as well as training of trainers (TOT) course that will enable the Somali Police to organize and manage their own training programmes.