Individual Police Officers (IPOs) from Sierra Leone have been commended by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for their performance in mentoring and advising their Somali counterparts during their deployment in Mogadishu.
Speaking on Saturday during a medal award parade for the 10 IPOs who are rotating out after completing their one year tour of duty in Somalia, the AMISOM Police Chief of Staff, Rex Dundun, said the contingent played a major role in enabling the Mission achieve its mandate.
“The management of AMISOM Police component is exceedingly happy with the performance displayed by the contingent. Police Commissioner Brigadier General Anand Pillay has asked me to convey the message of congratulations to the contingent,” the AMISOM Chief of Staff who is also the Acting Police Commissioner said.
Mr. Dundun noted that the Sierra Leonean contingent had also upheld the core principles of the African Union while mentoring the Somali Police Force during the period of deployment.
“The contingent have put their best especially in trying to adhere to the core principles of the African Union which are; respect to diversity and teamwork. We have also observed transparency and accountability in your performance; integrity and impartiality; efficiency and professionalism; and information and knowledge sharing,” the AMISOM Police Chief of Staff added.
He noted that although the contingent had lost the only female member through death, it did not deter them from offering their best to the Somali Police Force and AMISOM.
“It is unfortunate we lost the only female member of the contingent through the cruel hand of death. Nevertheless, the management of AMISOM Police component is exceedingly happy with the performance displayed by the contingent,” Mr. Dundun said as he led the gathering in observing a minute’s silence in memory of Gloria Mariama Jones.
The Sierra Leone Contingent Commander, Sahr Marka, described the tour of duty as rewarding and promised that the skills they had acquired from Somalia would be put into good use back home.
“Our tour of duty in Somalia has been very rewarding. It was rewarding because we came prepared having experienced war in Sierra Leone and we also have gone through the process of mentoring and advising which we are replicating in Somalia,” the Contingent Commander said.
During the ceremony, Mr. Dundun announced that the AU had agreed to extend the term for two of the ten officers rotating out because of the exemplary service Sierra Leonean officers had offered to AMISOM. He awarded the officers with medals and certificates for their service.