About 100 police officers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), have concluded a short course on managing vehicle checkpoints.
The training, was meant to help officers mitigate potential terrorist threats at checkpoints, through the employment of swift responsive mechanisms. The officers will in turn impart the knowledge and skills learnt, to their Somali counterparts.
“There are many checkpoints in Mogadishu and the Al-Shabaab know where they are, so they are able to dodge them,” explained Jacques de Wet, an IED mentor with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS)’s contractor – Dynasafe Minetech Limited.
De Wet said the training focused on the processes and steps taken to set up of vehicle checkpoints, during a specified time. “If you have 5 teams, up to 20 different locations will be covered,” de Wet noted.
The six-day training was the second phase of the vehicle checkpoint course, targeting the Formed Police Units in the capital of Mogadishu and the regional states.
“We also carried out various practicals; we set up checkpoints and collapsed and set up more checkpoints; and we know the right procedures that we have to take and how to do proper vehicle checkpoints,” said Sergeant Walter Orji, one of the participants.
The Acting AMISOM Police Commissioner, Ms. Christine Alalo officiated the closing ceremony of the workshop. She challenged participants to apply the knowledge gained, to improve the security in Mogadishu and the regional cities.
“This knowledge is given to you so that you are able to transfer it to the people that you co-locate with – the Somali Police. You are supposed to transfer that knowledge to prepare them for the transition, so they would be ready to take up this kind of responsibility,” she said.
The training was facilitated by UNMAS, as part of its continuous efforts to build the capacity of the security forces, to fight the indiscriminate use of Improvised Explosive Devices, which remain Al-Shabaab’s weapon of choice.