SOMALILAND: Police Reform Convention Concluded
A three day police reform convention held in Hargeisa’s Ambassador Hotel by the Interior Ministry successfully concluded on Tuesday with donors present.
The project co-sponsored by the UNDP and the government of Great Britain was launched on Sunday by Somaliland’s Interior Minister, Dr Abdi Gabose, in hopes of restoring public confidence and professionalism to his taskforces.
The aim of the convention was to kick-start a public debate on how the state police can deliver services that are professional, efficient, accountable and trusted by the people as well as improving police-public relations.
Dr Gabose told participants during the inauguration ceremony, it was important for the public to trust the force and work together to tackle security issues in the country.
The Minister also revealed the police plans to hire 60 high school graduates and 40 university graduates in every year for the next five years to work in administration, data clerk and other similar jobs to support the taskforce.
Matt Woods, from the British Embassy Addis Ababa, Dan Silvey from Department of International Development (DFID) Nairobi, Andy Dimbleby from the British High Commission in Nairobi and UNDP‘s Saeed Ali Abdullahi were some of the donor officials who visited Tuesday’s convention.
Mr Woods said the UK government will continue to provide support to the Somaliland security forces and he was very pleased with the atmosphere in the convention.
“We are supporting the police reform convention through development funds, and will provide more support to the police next financial year (from April 1st). I thought the convention went very well. There was broad representation from across society, discussing police reform,” he told Somalilandpress.
The Interior Ministry plans to appoint a taskforce to look into the Somaliland Police and suggest ways of improving the force including funding, facilities, training and recruitment. The committee will also gather and analyse views from the public and security experts.
This was the second such convention to be held in the country since the establishment of the force in 1993.
The National Police Force was created after the harmonization of warring militants that removed the Siad Bare totalitarian regime.
Each of the country’s 6 administrative regions have a police commandant and commissioned officers that maintain law and order in the districts.
Police statistics from November 2009-November 2010 showed a surge in crimes in Somaliland’s urban towns. There have been significant rise in the number of reported sexual offences, murder and road fatalities.
There were 5.2 per cent increase in murder cases from 2008/2007 figures; 64 people were arrested for 81 reported cases of murder, 17 cases have not been solved.
There has been sharp surge in sexual related crimes, 186 cases were reported, an increase of 19.24 per cent. About 206 people were accused, 162 arrests were made.
With the government of Silaanyo taking office in July 2010, it plans to reserve these statistics and win the trust of the public.