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Freetown, February (SLENA): Vice President Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana has welcomed a six-man delegation from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somalia Police Force to Sierra Leone.
Welcoming the delegation, VP Sam Sumana said he and President Koroma were very proud of their country being chosen as a case study by the AMISOM and Somalia Police Force.
Sierra Leone, he said, shares a similar history of conflict with Somalia, noting that after the ten year rebel war in Sierra Leone, he felt so proud that Sierra Leoneans have put behind them the past and have endeavoured to see that peace prevails in the country.
“We are our brothers’ keepers;” he emphasized, adding that the presence of the Sierra Leone Police Force in Somalia is to enforce peace, law and order to their African brothers and that the police force has demonstrated such gallantry.
Vice President Sumana also explained to the delegation the challenges the country faced during the restructuring process of the various organs of the police force after the civil conflict, adding that despite the achievement gained in that process, the force is still not complacent as they are still yearning to learn and gain more knowledge in order to be at the apex in the international arena.
He said Sierra Leone was aware of the problems Somalia police force is facing and that, as Africans, we should learn to put our country first before self. He advised that in order to reach the peak where Sierra Leone has attained, they should ensure that the three arms of government – legislature, executive and Judiciary, remain independent and are free from political meddling.
In his statement, the Head of the delegation, Deputy Police Commissioner of AMISOM, Benson Oyo-Nyeko extended on behalf of the delegation and Somalis his thanks and appreciation for the support rendered to them by Sierra Leone, being one of the greatest contributors to the peace process in Somalia.
While explaining the purpose of their visit, the deputy police commissioner said in 2007, Sierra Leone aided Somalia with a crop of police officers that performed tremendously well when the security apparatus in Somalia was in dare straight, stating that they were here on experience learning and sharing in respect of structural reforms, training, etc, activities that will enable them participate in future international missions.
The Deputy Commissioner said with the support of Sierra Leone and other African countries, security in Somalia has improved significantly in the past five years.
He however noted that despite this progress, his country is still faced with enormous human resource capacity challenges and assured that whatever experience they will gain during their tour would be put into best practice.
Also speaking at the occasion was the Commissioner of the Somalia Police Force, Dr. Major General Sherif Sekhuma Maye who vividly recalled the destruction the war caused to their country, stating that the rationale for the study tour was to gain knowledge on how to rebuild and reform their police force, restore law and order, among other reasons.
The delegation was led by DIG Moigbeh. Also present was the Director of Public Relations, ASP Samura.
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