Nairobi, 28 March 2016 – A four-day Consultative Conference on Police Reform in Somalia held last week in Nairobi endorsed a New Policing Model and a refreshed Heegan Plan for the development of the Somalia Federal State Police.
The Federal Minister of Internal Security Abdirizak Omar Mohamed attended the conference along with the ministers responsible for policing in Puntland, Jubbaland, the Interim South West Administration, the Galmudug Interim Administration and the Banadir, Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions.
Conference participants adopted the New Policing Model that contains federal and state-level components that will report to their respective federal and state-level ministries of internal security. Each component will be responsible for recruitment and training of police personnel.
The Police Commissioner of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), Christoph Buik, welcomed the discussions and expressed confidence that Somali leaders will agree on a suitable policing model. “I hope that in the end we will have a common agreement on how the police will look like under the federal principles in Somalia in the future” Police Commissioner Buik noted.
Participants also agreed to incorporate the New Policing Model in a refreshed Heegan Plan, and the federal, regional and state-level ministers of internal security will meet in Kismaayo for follow-up discussions.
The refreshed Heegan Plan will be an inclusive long-term strategic planning document for the period 2017-2025. “I insisted that we are given space to deliberate. As you can see, it is only Somalis who are discussing what kind of policing model they want to come up with,” the Federal Minister of Internal Security said.
African Union Commission Police Coordinator for Peace Support Operations, Crowd Chirenje, said establishing an efficient police force was extremely important, since officers are the face of government in the eyes of the public.
Strengthening the Somali Police is one of the key goals for providing improved safety and security to the local population. A preliminary round of technical discussions was held on the New Policing Model in September 2015, and last week’s conference advanced these discussions by involving ministers directly responsible for police reform.
Under the Somalia Joint Rule of Law Programme, UNSOM and UN agencies have aligned their support in accordance with Somalia’s policing priorities.
The consultative conference was facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme, UNSOM and the African Union Mission in Somalia with the support from the European Union.