A three-day training for top commanders of the Somali Police Force (SPF), tasked with running election security operation centres known as Joint Operation Centres (JOCs) in various parts of the country, during the ongoing elections in Somalia has ended with a call for them to implement lessons learnt.
Facilitated by the police component of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the training – held in Mogadishu, was attended by senior SPF commanders, drawn from the Federal Member States of Puntland, South West, Galmudug, HirShabelle, and Jubaland, the Banadir region and Somaliland.
The training aimed to equip the participants with the requisite knowledge to effectively manage the centres by conducting joint analysis, joint integrated planning, operational coordination, and joint performance assessment, in order to secure the electoral process.
At the closing ceremony, AMISOM Police Election Security Advisor, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Anthony Placid, urged the participants to share knowledge gained with their colleagues.
“We have given you the training; it is expected that you will pass on this knowledge to the others at your various Joint Operation Centres. Other training opportunities are likely to follow, and one of them is Operation Room Management,” said ACP Placid.
He said with the knowledge acquired from the training, the participants will be able to collect and share intelligence while discharging their duties to secure the elections.
“With this knowledge that has been imparted to them, it is expected that they will go back to their various Joint Operation Centres and operationalise them putting in use all the ideas and knowledge gained so that the ongoing elections are intelligence-led,” ACP Placid said.
Participants had interactive discussions on various topics, including the Joint Operation Centre Concept of Operations; Command, Control, Communication and Computers; Map Reading and Interpretation; Intelligence Gathering and Information Sharing; and Tactical Radio Communication, among others.
Colonel Ahmed Sugulle, a participant, said the training was informative and had boosted their knowledge on issues regarding election security.
“We have learned valuable lessons in securing the ongoing elections, thanks to AMISOM Police for facilitating it. Now we are ready to secure the elections that are happening across the country, and I congratulate the Somali Police Force for the good job they are doing in securing the elections so far,” said Col. Sugulle.
The training was also supported by United Nations Peacebuilding, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Support Team, United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), and the Integrated Electoral Support Group (IESG).
Somalia has just concluded elections for the Upper House, paving way for the commencement of Lower House elections, which will culminate in the election of the President.
The Somali Police Force is tasked with securing the elections, with AMISOM Police playing a supporting role.