As protocols demand, on Monday 31st July, 2023, the Africa Union/United Nations Assessment Team headed by Mr. Zinurine Abiodu Algahli paid a courtesy call on the Inspector General of Police – Mr. William Fayia Sellu at Police Headquarters, in Freetown. The team is in Sierra Leone to conduct assessment of the Sierra Leone Police (FPU) Formed Police Unit, who are due for deployment in Somalia.
The Acting Head of Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) – Mr. Zinurine Abiodu Algahli intimated IGP Sellu that both the AU/UN Assessment Team is in Sierra Leone to do the Pre-deployment verification assessment of the fifth Formed Police Unit, so as to ascertain their level of training, preparedness and fitness for deployment into the mission theatre in Somalia.
Mr Algahli further maintained that the Mission is a transition Mission as the name implies “Africa Union Transition Mission in Somalia” (ATMIS), adding that they have a thirty-six (36) month mandate, of which only eighteen (18) months now remain. That within the past 18 months, two thousand (2000) troupes (Military) had been withdrawn from the Mission Area; explaining that by the 31st of December, 2024, the Mission will scale down, and that Police deployments are also going to be affected. He called on Police Contributing Countries not to be surprised by this.
He however profoundly appreciated the IGP for his leadership, noting that the SLP is always rated as the best-equipped Police Contingent in Somalia. Further noting that both the Individual Police Officers (IPOs) and the Formed Police Unit (FPU) are professionally doing well in Somalia.
Similar sentiments were also expressed by other contingent members of the team with specific reference to the current Police Commissioner of AU – Commissioner Hillary Sao Kanu, for the diligent service delivery in Somalia.
In response, the Inspector General of Police – Mr. William Fayia Sellu welcomed the team to Sierra Leone and reassured them of his maximum support at all times.
IGP Sellu noted that the fifth Formed Police Unit (FPU) of the SLP has been kept together for a very long period, undergoing mission required training in order to keep them fit for the herculean tasks ahead; revealing that they were sufficiently utilised during the just concluded multi-tier elections. He boasted that they (FPU) stand ready to display the required mission tactics.
The IGP took note of all the concerns raised about continuous empowerment of women in the SLP, in line with their assigned tasks. He promised to take necessary and appropriate actions to address the concerns raised.