Somalia’s electoral management bodies trained on election safety and security

Mogadishu (SONNA): Members of Somalia’s Election implementation teams with the mandate to manage Somalia’s upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections are undergoing a two-day training on Electoral Safety and Security in Mogadishu, Somalia. Facilitated by the Political Affairs office and jointly led by the Police component of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali Police Force, the training kicked off on Sunday. In attendance were over 50 members of the Federal Electoral Implementation Team (FEIT) and State Electoral Implementation Team (SEIT). The two election management agencies tasked with organizing the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections at both the Federal government and Federal Member State (FMS) levels. Opening the training, the AMISOM Police Commissioner, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Augustine Magnus Kailie, said credible electoral outcomes largely depend on best electoral management practices, including safety and security. “Safety and security are essential to an electoral process. At best they support and ensure the credibility and overall success of an election, and at worst they discredit elections and make them meaningless. The Somali electoral process for 2020/2021 general elections is a major event and its successful implementation will be a manifestation of significant progress in Somalia’s return to democracy. You therefore have an important role to play in ensuring that this is achieved,” AIGP Kailie explained. The Chairman of the Federal Electoral Implementation Team, FEIT, Mohamed Hassan Mohamed, stressed on the importance of all members of FEIT and SEIT being adequately trained ahead of the elections. He however thought the two days training was not enough, considering the magnitude of the security challenges that the implementation teams will be faced with. The Somali Police Force Spokesperson, Major General Sadik Adam Ali who represented the SPF Police Commissioner, said the training was timely and that it would be important to enabling the Election Security Taskforce to implement the security plans they had lined up in the run up to the elections. “This training was the only thing remaining for us to implement the elections security taskforce plans. We are jointly working with AMISOM police to facilitate electoral integrity and security,” said Major General Sadik Adam Ali, who also doubles as the secretary of the Election Security Taskforce. Sharing their expectations during the opening ceremony, participants were keen on getting more insights on safety and security before, during and after elections. “Somalia faces immense security challenges that are unique. Unlike other countries, the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) is real and we need to learn how we can effectively deal with such situations,” said Fatuma Mohammed Abdullahi, a member of FEIT. Fatima Abdirizak, another participant, was ready for the challenges ahead. “We look forward to gaining the requisite skills necessary to our role in delivering a credible electoral process. We hope some of the key electoral integrity lessons from training sessions particularly awareness, precision and election security management will be discussed,” said Fatima Abdirizak. The modules for the training include, the role of security forces, election security threat assessment, election security legal frameworks, causes of electoral conflict and violence, guidance on security arrangements for women, election security intelligence management, and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in election security, among others. As Somalia prepares for crucial national elections, AMISOM is mandated to provide security during the process in a spirit of consensus and collaboration with the Somali security agencies to ensure the process is secured. In particular, AMISOM Police Component and the Somali Police Force (SPF) are both part of the National Election Taskforce, the highest security team tasked with securing the elections.

2021-02-17 | Somali | English |