Uganda plans to deploy more police personnel to serve under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Formed Police Unit, a senior police officer confirmed.
Grace Turyagumanawe, director of peace support operations in the Uganda Police Force, said Kampala is working on the logistics to deploy more Formed Police Units to help secure Somalia.
“Preparations are underway to ensure that we deploy a second formed unit as was agreed on recently. We are working on acquiring the necessary equipment,” she said in Mogadishu during a meeting with Simon Mulongo, deputy special representative of the chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia.
Turyagumanawe, who was in Somalia to assess the status of equipment and welfare of personnel, made the remarks on Thursday during a meeting with Mulongo in Mogadishu, the AU mission said.
During the visit, Turyagumanawe inspected the condition of the contingent-owned equipment at the Jazeera Forward Operating Base outside Mogadishu.
Under the Somalia Transition Plan, AMISOM police work to ensure that the Somali Police Force is adequately equipped in preparation to assume full responsibility of maintaining law and order in the country when AMISOM leaves in 2021.
During the meeting, Mulongo said the Uganda police contingent, which includes Formed Police Unit personnel and Individual Police Officers, continue to be instrumental in AMISOM’s gains against terrorism.
“We are satisfied with Uganda Police’s contribution to peacebuilding, especially their contribution to maintaining law and order and enhancing the capabilities of the Somali police,” Mulongo told Turyagumanawe, according to the AU mission.
The UN Security Council authorized AMISOM to deploy up to 1,040 police personnel under the police component, which includes Individual Police Officers and five Formed Police Units (FPUs).
The FPU personnel provide operational support such as VIP escort and protection, while the Individual Police Officers (IPOs) train, mentor and advise the Somali Police officers.
Uganda is one of AMISOM Police contributing countries along with Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Zambia. Recently, Ghana agreed to deploy an FPU contingent under AMISOM.