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UNODC Training Somali Police Trainers on Criminal Investigation

Mogadishu, Somalia, February 2020 – UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa (ROEA), together with the Somalia Police Force (SPF), concluded the first training-of-trainers workshop for twelve Somali Police Force officials. The trainers will be assisting UNODC in delivering further training on criminal investigation to the Somali Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (CID), both at the Federal and Federal Member States level.

The three-week long capacity building workshop, presented from 18 January to 6 February in Mogadishu,  is part of the UNODC Criminal Investigation Program for Somalia, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), being implemented within the framework of the UNODC Regional Programme for Eastern Africa (2016-2021) and its regional Countering Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Programme

The training – the first in a series of capacity building activities to be implemented together with the Somali Police Force as part of the UNODC Criminal Investigation Programme for Somalia – utilised contextualised UNODC training material and focused on equipping trainers with the necessary knowledge to be able to train other officials. Topics included the role and responsibilities of a trainer and investigator, crime scene management and processes, investigative interviews and the structure of upcoming UNODC basic investigators course. The training curriculum also included hands-on exercises and case studies on knowledge sharing on criminal investigations, illustrating both the fundamentals and complexity of criminal investigations, while ensuring a strong victim-centred approach.

The workshop was opened by General Mohamed Mohamud Mohamed Garar, Deputy Head of Training and Planning Directorate and Ms. Amelia Hannaford, Head of UNODC Office in Somalia. During the opening remarks, Brigadier General Hussen thanked UNODC for assisting and supporting the Somali Police Force and its CID in strengthening its capacity to investigate and counter serious and transnational organized crime.  She also noted that it was a special opportunity for the participants who were the first group to benefit from the training which would greatly assist themselves on fellow investigators in their day-to-day duties. In turn, Ms. Hannaford thanked the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Somalia Police Force for the partnership with UNODC and for allowing UNODC to support the Federal Government and Federal Member States in strengthening its criminal justice system. She reiterated that serious and transnational crime continued to pose serious threats to the Member States and people in Eastern Africa and beyond and, as such, effective and coordinated criminal justice responses to these complex crimes, including the skills to investigate these crimes, were crucial.

The goal of the Criminal Investigation Program for Somalia is to enhance the investigation capacity of the Somali Police Force, both at the Federal level and within each Federal Member State. Accordingly, the programme seeks to enhance and systematise the capacity the Somali Police Force and its CID to investigate serious and organized crime in accordance with international treaty obligations and standards. 

The programme also aims to develop and enable a group of investigators who will be able to investigate these crimes while also assisting the Somalia Police Force and its CID in the development and support of specialist investigation units, both Federal and Federal Member State level.

In closing, His Excellency, Donald Y. Yamamoto, Ambassador of the United States to Somalia, and Mr. Johan Kruger and UNODC Head of Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes for Eastern Africa, joined Brigadier General Hussein, Ms. Hannaford, and Ms. Parvathy Sankar, INL Representative for Somalia, at the closing ceremony.

Ambassador Yamamoto expressed his gratitude towards the Somali Police Force, participants and UNODC for completing the training. In turn, Mr. Kruger thanked the United States and Federal Government of Somalia for their partnership and reiterated that the Criminal Investigation Program for Somalia was a top priority for UNODC: “It forms part of our global and regional strategic framework and greatly supports the achievement of those strategic objectives, including by strengthening the capacity of Somalia to prevent, investigate and counter serious and organized crime based on rule of law and human rights-based principles; by supporting compliance with international and regional treaty obligations; and by enhancing regional and international cooperation in criminal matters.” He also thanked participants for their commitment and dedication and said that as important as it is, having knowledgeable policemen and women was not enough: “We – and Somalia – need true champions who are passionate about their work, and who believe in what they are doing. More than your knowledge, your commitment and passion is what will truly inspire the trainees to be trained during the subsequent investigation courses”.