A total of three hundred Darwish trainees of the Somali Police Force have graduated at the General Kahiye Police Training Academy in Mogadishu after completing a month-long specialised training.
The trainees were first trained in Djibouti for three months before undergoing a refresher programme at the police academy in January 2020. They are the first batch of 1,750 Darwish forces to be trained to secure population centres in liberated areas and newly liberated areas of Lower Shabelle region.
Their training covered combating terrorism, intelligence, patrols, stop and search techniques, human rights, community policing, criminal justice, policing standards, gender, public order management, operations, convoy control and management, EOD and IED awareness.
At the pass out ceremony on Thursday, the Somali Police Commissioner Maj. Gen. Abdi Hassan Mohamed, urged them to maintain discipline, be exemplary, and share knowledge and best practices among themselves.
“The Somali Police Force is undergoing restructuring and reform – we have personnel at police stations across the federal member states – they include the Darwish forces, Birmad forces, Haramcad forces, and the Rapid Response Team. Our restructuring and reform exercise will enable us take charge of security,” Maj. Gen. Abdi said.
Instructors from the AMISOM police component supported by the UN Police (UNPOL), the EU Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP), UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), and the EU Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM) provided the training.
The Head of Mission for EUCAP, Chris Reynolds underscored the importance of the Darwish forces as front line defence in liberated areas. “The Darwish forces have been trained to bring civil authority to liberated areas. The army can clear and hold for a while, but eventually, you need local police to maintain law and order,” said Reynolds.
The EUTM Commander, Brig. Gen. Antonello De Sio, highlighted the role played by EU instructors in the training of the Darwish forces. “This training was an integrated approach between EU and AMISOM. It’s been a pleasure for EUTM to take part in this joint activity,” said Brig. Gen. De Sio.
The AMISOM Police Operations Coordinator, Daniel Ali Gwambal, said the Darwish trainees had acquired skills to support stabilisation efforts in the liberated areas. “Darwish is a major component of the SPF in stabilisation under the Somalia Transition Plan. They will police recovered areas,” Gwambal he said.
A Darwish trainee, Maida Shafeec Yussuf, was grateful for the skills acquired and on behalf of her colleagues, pledged their commitment to supporting the ongoing stabilisation efforts in Somalia.
“Our role is to maintain security, secure lives, and property against the enemy,” Maida noted. She encouraged more women to join the police service.