False police officers from Somalia signed up for Russian law enforcement training – leaked documents

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MOGADISHU (HORN OBSERVATOR) False Somali police officers have been enrolled in a Russian-backed law enforcement training program designed to capacity Somali police force, according to leaked documents obtained by Horn Observer.

In May 2021, the Russian Embassy in Djibouti offered to support Somali police force with a five-year training program covering psychology of service to law enforcement agencies, legal aspects of national security and forensic investigation. The training took place at various universities affiliated with the Russian Ministry of Interior.

But when the Russian ambassador to Djibouti and Somalia, Mr Mikhail Golovanov, invited the Somali police chief, Abdi Hassan Hijar, to select suitable candidates for the training program, the Somali side did not follow a fair process and instead chose fake officers who were enrolled. officers familiar with the matter to the Horn Observer.

The five officers enrolled in the training are: Jama Abshir Elmi, Harun Mohamed Yasin, Ahmed Abdishakur Mohamed, Abdisalan Suleiman Abdikarin and Abdirizak Mohamed Yusuf. According to the document, the five officers (one of them selected as a reserve) have been selected to participate in Vladimir Kikot Moscow University, which is a higher institution under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation Ministry of Interior.

“None of the five are genuine police officers. It is surprising that their passports were ordered and processed in less than a week, and all their places of birth are listed as Lasanod except one who says he was born in Borama,” a senior criminal investigation department (CID) that demanded anonymity because of its security, the Horn Observer said.

The Somali police chief, an ally of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, comes from the town of Lasanod in the Sool region.

Sool is a disputed region claimed as sovereign territory by both the breakaway Somaliland and Somalia’s federal member Puntland.

“While 90% of Somali police officers are from southern and central regions, it is difficult to authenticate the names of those who claim to be police officers,” added the officer, who even spoke of other incidents where police rankings have been mismanaged and manipulated. .

The Horn Observer’s investigation has revealed that junior officers had reported the fake police officer list to President Farmaajo’s office.

“No action was taken. Apparently the president did not want to harm his ally General Abdi Hassan Hijar, who comes from the same clan as the president’s mother,” the officer added.

When contacted for this report, Somali Police Chief General Abdi Hijar and his Deputy General Zakia Hussein declined to answer our questions regarding these allegations.

CORRUPTION IN THE POLICE

Widespread corruption is plaguing the Somali police force. Officers and security experts we have interviewed say the most serious problem is the police officers’ ranking system and positions, as ghost names or fake names are added to the police payroll system to access the police payroll.

Police training programs are another opportunity to make quick money for senior officers, according to three officers who spoke to the Horn Observer and a complaint report sent to the Somali Independent Anti-Corruption Commission.

“Due to the high unemployment among young people, it is seen by many young people as an opportunity to buy training places in the police, so that they can migrate illegally to Europe, the United States and Canada. Most of the so-called officers sent in the last three years “have not returned to the country. They have escaped education and sought exile in other foreign countries,” they said.

The Police Administrative Command and the Complaints Unit have repeatedly received complaints that officers have been removed from their posts where their ranks have been replaced with other names.

“Officers from minority clans are specifically targeted,” said the three officers who sent the complaint.

LOWER SHABELLE OFFICER’S COMPLAINT

In a complaint seen by the Horn Observer, Wanla Weyn police chief Abdalla Boorow Mohamed wrote that one of his officers had been mistakenly marked as “missing and was put on circular” after taking to hospital due to injuries he sustained at the end of 2020 and was supported by a medical certificate from the hospital. The letter, addressed to the Lower Shabelle Regional Police Command, Mr Boorow called for the lifting of the “suspension” from the soldier.

Despite the complaint, the officer is still suspended, but his police number is active, meaning his salary and scholarship are being received by someone else.

“I am shocked that while I am still suspended, my salary is being sent and someone else is receiving it. Not me,” soldier Osman Omar Nuune told the Horn Observer.

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