The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) handed over a newly constructed police station at Jowhar Airport in Hirshabelle State, to bolster security at the facility, and improve the delivery of service to the community.
The new facility was handed by the Deputy Head of ATMIS, Fiona Lortan, to the Hirshabelle State Minister of Security Mohamed Abdirahman Kheyre at a colourful ceremony attended by senior ATMIS and Hirshabelle State officials.
In her remarks, Lortan noted that the new police station will enhance security as well as boost the economy in the region, and is in line with the Somali Transition Plan.
“This is part of the ATMIS mandate whereby we are supposed to assist the Somali Security Forces to take over full control of security by 2024. This is a key part of that process, as handing over the infrastructure will have a long-lasting legacy. It will allow Somalis to build on this police station to ensure that they can provide security for the airport, which is very important infrastructure, both for security purposes as well as for the economy,” Lortan added.
The police station, which consists of several offices, a holding cell, and an ablution block, will provide decent office space for the police to discharge their duties, thereby increasing their morale to serve the community.
Present at the handover was the ATMIS Police Commissioner, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Augustine Magnus Kailie, and Hirshabelle State Deputy Police Commander, Col. Hassan Mohamed Ibrahim.
Lortan noted that the new police station is one of the numerous projects that have been implemented across the country, among them a police station constructed earlier at Beledweyne Airport.
Hirshabelle Minister of Security, Mohamed Abdirahman Kheyre, said the facility will greatly improve policing in Hirshabelle. He urged the police to take care of the facility and diligently serve the public.
“This is part of our plans to enhance the security of airports in Hirshabelle State, this is the second airport to receive such support of a new police station. Now we have a new police station which will go a long way in resolving security challenges within and outside the airport, as well as tackle crime,” Minister Kheyre said.
On his part, ATMIS Police Commissioner AIGP Kailie praised the SPF in Hirshabelle State for their dedication and reiterated the commitment of ATMIS to continue working closely with the Somali Police Force to restore peace and stability.
“The mandate of ATMIS is to capacitate the Somali Police Force individually, and infrastructurally. This is one of the executions of our mandate in building the infrastructural capacity of the Somali Police Force,” AIGP Kailie said.
The handover was crowned with a tree planting exercise to beautify the airport, and at the same time help conserve the environment.
Hirshabelle State Deputy Police Commander, Col. Hassan Mohamed Ibrahim said the new facility is timely given that the police previously had no offices to operate from. He thanked ATMIS for the support, noting that the gesture will go a long way in motivating the forces.
“This is the first time for this airport to have a police station. This police station will serve all populations within the airport and outside, including nearby villages and even displaced people living close by. We hope this station will improve the security of this area, and we are now informing people in Jowhar that they can access police services here. They no longer need to trek for long hours like they used to do before,” Col. Ibrahim said.
The police station, constructed by ATMIS as part of its Quick Impact Projects (QIPs), was built with funding from the Government of India.