Chief Superintendent Esther Mary Kaintoe, head of Sierra Leone contingent and deputy training and development coordinator at the African union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has said AMISOM has been able to bridge the gap between the Somali police and the people of Somalia. Esther made this statement on Wednesday 3rd December 2019 during an interview with journalists from Sierra Leone at the police Headquarters, Mogadishu, Somalia AMISOM is a multidimensional peace support operation deployed in Somalia to assist in reducing the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups; provide support to the stabilization and security of Somalia; aid the implementation of national security plans and assist in the restoration and extension of state authority and institutions. Esther who has been in Somalia for the past eleven moths said before this time the Somali people don’t report cases to the police, and if they do, the numbers are limited – “but now they are coming out to speak to the police because of the community policing method we have introduced here.” She added that Sierra Leone has a quota of thirty nine individual police officers (IPOs), and one hundred and sixty Form Police Units (FPUs) in Somalia.
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Esther further explained that the IPOs advice and mentor to ensure that the Somali Police force become credible and well organized, while the IPUs on the other hand are the armed police officers based in Kismayo, Somalia. She said they have been teaching the Somali Police to know what is accepted internationally, and that they want them to know how to work with their people in a bid to let them know that they cannot work alone as police officers but with the people. AMISOM will not be here forever. We train them, help them and leave them to themselves,” she maintained. In terms of security of Sierra Leone Police in Somalia, Esther assured families in Sierra Leone that they are safe and well secured where they are and that Somalia is not like the way people think about it anymore. She added that they do not panic, and that Sierra Leone is enjoying peace now based on the sacrifices made by others, and they are willing to replicate same in Somalia to ensure that there is peace and sanity in the land.
By Abdulrahman Koroma
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