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Somali officials and United Nations experts
discuss solutions to rapid urbanization

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali officials and United Nations experts were calling for durable solutions to challenges posed by rapid urbanization in the Horn of Africa nation.

Walter Kaelin, a UN Special Advisor on Internal Displacement, said some 2.6 million Somalis are internally displaced, noting that that is quite a large number in terms of the overall population.

“This is a huge humanitarian challenge but it’s also affecting the development of the country and ultimately the security, the state-building,” Kaelin said in a statement issued by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

The return of refugees across neighboring countries and internal displacement have been key drivers of the movement of people from rural to urban areas.

“And unless we find durable solutions for these people, I think it will be very difficult for Somalia to advance,” said Kaelin who also serves as an advisor on internally displaced persons to the UN Resident Coordinator for Somalia.

The UN expert spoke at a gathering of local government officials, civil society representatives and UN experts to discuss the role of local authorities in finding solutions to the country’s urbanization.

George Conway, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director for Somalia, said that there will be continued spikes in rural-to-urban migration and urged the cities to be prepared and be ready to expand housing opportunities due to the climate change trajectory of Somalia.

Conway called on the authorities to be ready to expand access to basic services and importantly, ensure livelihoods and employment opportunities for these new people that are joining cities.



United Nations and African Union experts train
senior Somali police on management course

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The United Nations and African Union Mission experts on Sunday wrapped up training of 28 senior Somali police officers on strategic planning and management course as part of efforts to implement institutional reforms, the AU mission said.

The training, the first of its kind for the force, is part of the organizational and culture change activities, being undertaken within the institution, to improve efficiency and performance, among top-level officers, the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

Christine Alalo, acting AMISOM Police Commissioner who closed the ten-day course in Mogadishu, said officials, most of whom head various directorates and units within the force, will use skills acquired to implement desired change.

“With this training, the officers acquired skills, knowledge and attitudes that are necessary for them to be able to rise to the occasion and professionally carry out their duties in accordance with the expectations of the Somali population, with due diligence to and observance of human rights,” Alalo said.

The AU mission hopes that the training which was also conducted by Somali experts will improve the interfacing and collaboration between various departments of the Somali Police Force, it said.

“As a leadership tool, strategic management can be instrumental in fostering a culture of excellence and enhancing professionalism in a workforce, and in turn, maximize performance and output,” said the AU mission.

According to the mission, participants learnt how to develop a strategic vision and mission for the police force, principles of management, strategic planning and leadership, among other topics.

Ahmed Dayib Ahmed, the Somali Police Force (SPF) head of operations, described the training as timely, saying such leadership development courses boosted performance in the police hierarchy.



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