Three hundred Somali special federal police called “Darwish” have graduated from a month long pre-deployment orientation training at a passing out ceremony in Mogadishu this week, where they demonstrated their skills in patrolling, stop and search, and field and weapon awareness.
The Federal Darwish are a robust civilian unit of the Federal Somali Police Force who have been principally trained in Djibouti by the Italian Carabinieri at the request of the Government of Somalia. The training and deployment of the Darwish is part of a military to civilian police transition plan agreed by the Federal Government, federal member states and the international community in 2018. It is aimed that the Darwish will deploy to areas liberated by the Somali National Army and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), to help hold the areas and pave the way for local civilian police to operate.
The orientation training was delivered by the Somali Police Force (SPF) and by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), with the support of the EU Delegation to Somalia, the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia), the European Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia), and by the United Nations Police (UNPOL).
Human rights, gender awareness and community policing were key parts of the training curriculum alongside police operations and intelligence, combating terrorism, and explosive ordinance awareness and disposal.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Somali Police Commissioner, Major General Abdi Hassan Mohamed, urged those graduating to continue their comradery, brotherhood and sisterhood in their group and with society.
“The Somali Police Force is undergoing restructuring and reform, and we have personnel at police stations across the federal member states, who include the Darwish forces, Birmad forces, Haramcad forces, and the Rapid Response Team. You [who are graduating today] have the responsibility to work for the good standing of your group name and to look after it,” he said.
Chris Reynolds, Head of Mission for EUCAP Somalia, said EUCAP was honoured to support the training of the Darwish together with its sister EU missions, as part of an integrated approach to security.
“This work with the Darwish is a key element for the transition from military control of the countryside to civil control of the countryside. These are police first and robust police second – their operation will be embedded in rule of law, and we expect that as security conditions allow they will revert to normal policing and will be replaced by local police,” he said.