The African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, has handed over a new police station constructed to bolster security at Shati Gaduud Airport Baidoa, in the Southwest State of Somalia.
AMISOM constructed the airport police station as a Quick Impact Project, QIP, with funding from the Government of Italy.
A ceremony to hand over the police station took place on Monday, witnessed by the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, and the AMISOM Police Commissioner, AIGP Augustine Magnus Kailie.
Other officials present included the AMISOM Police Operations & Formed Police Unit Coordinator, DCP Ali Daniel Gwambal, the Acting AMISOM Police Reform, Restructuring and Development Coordinator, SSP Alex Ndili Minyao, the Head of AMSOM Civil Affairs, Dr. Opiyo Ododa, the Southwest State’s Minister for Security, Isak Ali Subag, the Commander of the Bay Regional Police, Col. Amin Mohamed Osman.
The construction of the police station is part of AMISOM support to enhance the capacity of the Somali Police Force (SPF) to maintain law and order ahead of the AMISOM’s exit from Somalia.
In his remarks, Mulongo, who is also the Deputy Head of AMISOM, said the construction of the police station was in response to a request by the Southwest State authorities for support to improve security at the airport.
“They wanted to enhance the security of this place, provide protection, police the growing population and traffic at the airport. So, this means that we can cover not only ordinary crime in the community but also cater for international and transnational crimes, organised crimes, such as drug trafficking, which may come through the airport in Baidoa,” added Mulongo.
Speaking on behalf of the Southwest State, the Minister for Internal Security, Isak Ali Subag, who officiated at the ceremony, hailed AMISOM for the cordial working relationship and support to the federal member state.
He appealed for further support towards rehabilitating other police stations to support the maintenance of law and order in Baidoa and neighbouring towns in the Bay Region.
“We request AMISOM police to build and enhance the capacity of Southwest police through training and provision of equipment. We also ask for construction and renovation of police stations in Dinsoor and Qansax-dheere towns in the Bay region and recruit police personnel to work in the stations,” said Minister Isak.
The Somali Police Commander for Bay Region, Col. Amin Mohamed Osman, said they would soon deploy personnel to oversee security at the airport.
“Previously, suspects arrested at the airport would be detained at Baidoa Central Police Station. Now, we are happy that the police station has detention cells, and we are grateful to AMISOM,” said Col. Amin.