The Uganda Police Force has deployed a new contingent of officers to serve under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The newly deployed personnel, from the Formed Police Unit (FPU), arrived yesterday and will be under the command of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Thomas Kamugisha.

The contingent replaces another one that has completed one-year tour of duty. Uganda is one of the Police Contributing Countries under AMISOM, deploying Individual Police Officers (IPOs) and Formed Police personnel. Other police contributing countries are Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Ghana.

A command handover ceremony took place at the Aden Abdulle International Airport, witnessed by senior Uganda Police commanders serving under AMISOM.

“My expectations as a contingent commander are to work hard and make sure that Somalia gets peace and development. I have come to give a hand with my group so that Somalia can gain its past glory” Kamugisha said.

Christine Alalo, the Deputy Commissioner of the AMISOM Police Component, challenged the newly deployed Ugandan officers and men to contribute to the fulfillment of the AMISOM Police mandate in Somalia.

“Somalia is coming up from war and they need a lot of support in terms of improving policing in the country. The military is here to do their work and once they recover a place, police must take over and our officers must work closely with the Somali Police,” Alalo said.

Superintendent of Police (SP), Samuel Aliria Abbedi, the outgoing commander of the Uganda Formed Police Unit, said he was encouraged by the progress made by his Somali Police counterparts who are now able to carry out security operations independently.

“As I leave, there is still more to be done in Somalia, we cannot relax on issues of security. This is because every day the situation keeps on changing. As a result, security has to be intensified each day,” said Abbedi.

AMISOM Police has a mandate of providing operational support to the Somali Police Force (SPF), to help it perform policing functions effectively as per international policing standards.

The FPUs perform various duties, among them, community policing, counter-terror operations, public order management, explosives disposal and cordon and search operations. All the functions are aimed at securing Somalia and making it a stable nation.

AMISOM has been at the forefront in strengthening the SPF to enable it restore law and order in towns and other liberated areas.