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Mogadishu night patrol
Security forces from Nigeria and Uganda have been helping Somali forces to oust al-Shabab fighters from the capital.
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2013 10:22
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Mogadishu, Somalia - In 2011 African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces largely pushed out the armed group al-Shabab from Somalia's capital city of Mogadishu. Since then, police units from Nigeria and Uganda have been attempting to train and equip the fledgling Somali Police Force (SPF) in securing the capital city. Part of this effort has been conducting nightly joint patrols with the SPF. These patrols, and the recent introduction of solar powered lights onto the city's main streets, have helped allow businesses to reopen, enabling civilians to move more freely after dark.

However, the threat of al-Shabab is still apparent in Mogadishu, with regular bomb and IED attacks an indicator of the challenges that AMISOM and the fledgling government face in securing the capital. On this particular evening, a local police station was attacked with small arms fire just 30 minutes after the night patrol had passed by. The perpetrators fled before police could mount a significant response.

At one point during the patrol, vehicles passed freely through checkpoints as local police sat around chatting and sleeping, some chewing the stimulant khat while on duty. "It's cold at night and we have to stay awake," said one Somali police officer. "I chew khat to stay warm while we're working."

When questioned about the competency of their SPF counterparts Nigerian Assistant Superintendent of Police Ahmed Usman replied, "They are the ones responsible for security, searching cars and civilians. All we can do is provide them cover."

The solar lights that now line the streets have also been the target of two separate bomb attacks by al-Shabab in July and August, the latter resulting in minor injuries. "They hate the lights as it hampers their activities," said one AMISOM police officer. The insurgent group see lights as a threat to their operations in the capital which are now largely prepared under the cover of night. 

On this evening the AMISOM police were optimistic about the impact night patrols were having in Mogadishu. Illuminated by the solar lights, women fetched water, men chattered outside their shopfronts and boys played football in the dusty streets, activities previously unseen after dark just nine months ago.

Follow Will Swanson on Twitter: @willswanson


/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

A convoy of AMISOM Formed Police Units (FPU) in armoured vehicles leave the national stadium to rendezvous with their Somali counterparts for a late night patrol in Mogadishu. 

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

Since August 2012 police units from seven contributing African Union countries have been tasked with the job of assisting the Somali Police Force to secure Mogadishu.

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

Like many other teenagers across the world, young Somalis play street football in the cool of the evening. Watching or playing football was banned while much of the city was under control of the armed group al-Shabab.

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

As well as military peace enforcement operations, the AMISOM mission includes police units from Uganda and Nigera. 

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

Members of the Somali Police Force visit a local shop at Terburka junction.

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

Nigerian AMISOM FPU officers stand next to their armoured patrol vehicle on night patrol in Mogadishu. 

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

The advent of solar lights has made it easier for both civilians and police to move about the city safely at night.

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

Nigerian police officer Assistant Superintendent of Police Ahmed Usman meets with SPF liason officer Lieutentant Abdi Anod at a temporary checkpoint while on patrol.

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

Solar powered street lights have been important in restoring security in Mogadishu and activities such as fetching water can now be done more safely after dark. 

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

Along with roving night patrols, police units establish sniper and observation positions in critical junctions throughout the city to monitor movements of al-Shabab operatives

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

In stark contrast to the Casspir IED resistant vehicles of the AMISOM forces, local police units move about the city in unarmoured pick up trucks.

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

A police officer sleeps in the back of a pickup truck during a night patrol in Mogadishu. Some local police chew the stimulant khat which can also have side effects.

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

 Local clan ties and family relationships between police officers and their communities play a major role in local SPF efforts to police Mogadishu's various districts

/Will Swanson / Al Jazeera

A Nigerian AMISOM police officer pauses while on night patrol in Mogadishu. Many AMISOM police have participated in fights against local insurgents such as Boko Haram in their own country.

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images:
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captions:

A convoy of AMISOM Formed Police Units (FPU) in armoured vehicles leave the national stadium to rendezvous with their Somali counterparts for a late night patrol in Mogadishu. 

;*;

Since August 2012 police units from seven contributing African Union countries have been tasked with the job of assisting the Somali Police Force to secure Mogadishu.

;*;

Like many other teenagers across the world, young Somalis play street football in the cool of the evening. Watching or playing football was banned while much of the city was under control of the armed group al-Shabab.

;*;

As well as military peace enforcement operations, the AMISOM mission includes police units from Uganda and Nigera. 

;*;

Members of the Somali Police Force visit a local shop at Terburka junction.

;*;

Nigerian AMISOM FPU officers stand next to their armoured patrol vehicle on night patrol in Mogadishu. 

;*;

The advent of solar lights has made it easier for both civilians and police to move about the city safely at night.

;*;

Nigerian police officer Assistant Superintendent of Police Ahmed Usman meets with SPF liason officer Lieutentant Abdi Anod at a temporary checkpoint while on patrol.

;*;

Solar powered street lights have been important in restoring security in Mogadishu and activities such as fetching water can now be done more safely after dark. 

;*;

Along with roving night patrols, police units establish sniper and observation positions in critical junctions throughout the city to monitor movements of al-Shabab operatives

;*;

In stark contrast to the Casspir IED resistant vehicles of the AMISOM forces, local police units move about the city in unarmoured pick up trucks.

;*;

A police officer sleeps in the back of a pickup truck during a night patrol in Mogadishu. Some local police chew the stimulant khat which can also have side effects.

;*;

 Local clan ties and family relationships between police officers and their communities play a major role in local SPF efforts to police Mogadishu(***)s various districts

;*;

A Nigerian AMISOM police officer pauses while on night patrol in Mogadishu. Many AMISOM police have participated in fights against local insurgents such as Boko Haram in their own country.

Daylife ID:
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Photographer:
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Image Source:
Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera;*;Will Swanson / Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Mogadishu night patrolhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrolen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Tue, 27 Aug 2013 14:28:31 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/577ede57b9e8e35577db8f4b348d093cA convoy of AMISOM Formed Police Units (FPU) in armoured vehicles leave the national stadium to rendezvous with their Somali counterparts for a late night patrol in Mogadishu. This particular combined AMISOM/Somali Police Force (SPF) patrol took six hours and travelled along major roads and strategic gateway locations in the cityhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/577ede57b9e8e35577db8f4b348d093cWill Swanson / Al JazeeraA convoy of AMISOM Formed Police Units (FPU) in armoured vehicles leave the national stadium to rendezvous with their Somali counterparts for a late night patrol in Mogadishu. This particular combined AMISOM/Somali Police Force (SPF) patrol took six hours and travelled along major roads and strategic gateway locations in the cityhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/116cf16e04520d8e076527280ea80bfbSince August 2012 police units from seven contributing African Union countries have been tasked with the job of assisting the Somali Police Force to secure Mogadishu and transform the SPF into a credible and effective policing organisationhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/116cf16e04520d8e076527280ea80bfbWill Swanson / Al JazeeraSince August 2012 police units from seven contributing African Union countries have been tasked with the job of assisting the Somali Police Force to secure Mogadishu and transform the SPF into a credible and effective policing organisationhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/3e58335f03c33e3d1d8b4f38e4aae435Like many other teenagers across the world, young Somalis play street football in the cool of the evening. Watching or playing football was banned while much of the city was under control of the armed group al-Shababhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/3e58335f03c33e3d1d8b4f38e4aae435Will Swanson / Al JazeeraLike many other teenagers across the world, young Somalis play street football in the cool of the evening. Watching or playing football was banned while much of the city was under control of the armed group al-Shabab http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/3662db8af4eb01a9ca7fa41e2802f5f0As well as military peace enforcement operations, the AMISOM mission includes police units from Uganda and Nigera. They are involved in training and supporting the local Somali Police Force in Mogadishu along with special advisors from other countrieshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/3662db8af4eb01a9ca7fa41e2802f5f0Will Swanson / Al Jazeera As well as military peace enforcement operations, the AMISOM mission includes police units from Uganda and Nigera. They are involved in training and supporting the local Somali Police Force in Mogadishu along with special advisors from other countrieshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/6c49b72b6bd856ab3e8933a90757c4efMembers of the Somali Police Force visit a local shop at Terburka junction. The night patrols and solar lights have meant increased security for local vendors and longer opening hours after dark in Somalia's capital of Mogadishuhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/6c49b72b6bd856ab3e8933a90757c4efWill Swanson / Al JazeeraMembers of the Somali Police Force visit a local shop at Terburka junction. The night patrols and solar lights have meant increased security for local vendors and longer opening hours after dark in Somalia's capital of Mogadishuhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/d7c130265b3b8a25cc317a0d68464f73Nigerian AMISOM FPU officers stand next to their armoured patrol vehicle on night patrol in Mogadishu. Experienced in asymmetrical conflicts, many AMISOM police have participated in fights against local insurgents in their own country such as such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) in Ugandahttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/d7c130265b3b8a25cc317a0d68464f73Will Swanson / Al JazeeraNigerian AMISOM FPU officers stand next to their armoured patrol vehicle on night patrol in Mogadishu. Experienced in asymmetrical conflicts, many AMISOM police have participated in fights against local insurgents in their own country such as such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) in Ugandahttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/52edf5fb9ef0833a6610ab38912135d8Somali men walk past a police checkpoint in Mogadishu. Since 2012 AMISOM and government forces have been working to secure the capital. The advent of solar lights has made it easier for both civilians and police to move about the city safely at nighthttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/52edf5fb9ef0833a6610ab38912135d8Will Swanson / Al JazeeraSomali men walk past a police checkpoint in Mogadishu. Since 2012 AMISOM and government forces have been working to secure the capital. The advent of solar lights has made it easier for both civilians and police to move about the city safely at nighthttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/a6718edf01494e7b209edbb398d2b473Nigerian police officer Assistant Superintendent of Police Ahmed Usman meets with SPF liason officer Lieutentant Abdi Anod at a temporary checkpoint while on patrol. Officially, AMISOM troops are present only to support and train the SPF in policing the city. "They are responsible for security, searching cars and civilians. All we can do is provide them cover." he saidhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/a6718edf01494e7b209edbb398d2b473Will Swanson / Al JazeeraNigerian police officer Assistant Superintendent of Police Ahmed Usman meets with SPF liason officer Lieutentant Abdi Anod at a temporary checkpoint while on patrol. Officially, AMISOM troops are present only to support and train the SPF in policing the city. "They are responsible for security, searching cars and civilians. All we can do is provide them cover." he saidhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/2cf014191974a21c5acfeb9653110751Solar powered street lights have been important in restoring security in Mogadishu and activities such as fetching water can now be done more safely after dark. Threatened by these developments, the armed group al-Shabab has attacked the lights with explosives at least twice, causing some injurieshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/2cf014191974a21c5acfeb9653110751Will Swanson / Al JazeeraSolar powered street lights have been important in restoring security in Mogadishu and activities such as fetching water can now be done more safely after dark. Threatened by these developments, the armed group al-Shabab has attacked the lights with explosives at least twice, causing some injurieshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/34df2055503ec499d44591bd8b7f718aPolice from the Nigerian Formed Police Unit (FPU) establish a checkpoint along Balad Road in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu. Along with roving night patrols, police units establish sniper and observation positions in critical junctions throughout the city to monitor movements of al-Shabab operativeshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/34df2055503ec499d44591bd8b7f718aWill Swanson / Al JazeeraPolice from the Nigerian Formed Police Unit (FPU) establish a checkpoint along Balad Road in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu. Along with roving night patrols, police units establish sniper and observation positions in critical junctions throughout the city to monitor movements of al-Shabab operativeshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/af91fe3e77d598185cf7891dc6e524a2In stark contrast to the Casspir IED resistant vehicles of the AMISOM forces, local police units move about the city in unarmoured pick up trucks. While the threat of IEDs was once a day to day issue, the declining grip of al-Shabab on the city has led to a decrease of these types of attacks on the night patrol convoyhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/af91fe3e77d598185cf7891dc6e524a2Will Swanson / Al JazeeraIn stark contrast to the Casspir IED resistant vehicles of the AMISOM forces, local police units move about the city in unarmoured pick up trucks. While the threat of IEDs was once a day to day issue, the declining grip of al-Shabab on the city has led to a decrease of these types of attacks on the night patrol convoyhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/07efe68b640842bf19b5a35a97f63bf0A police officer sleeps in the back of a pickup truck during a night patrol in Mogadishu. Some local police chew the stimulant khat which can also have side effects. "It's cold at night and we have to stay awake. I chew khat to stay warm while we are working," said one Somali police officerhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/07efe68b640842bf19b5a35a97f63bf0Will Swanson / Al JazeeraA police officer sleeps in the back of a pickup truck during a night patrol in Mogadishu. Some local police chew the stimulant khat which can also have side effects. "It's cold at night and we have to stay awake. I chew khat to stay warm while we are working," said one Somali police officerhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/4196bf31ea5aa3210945c003feee8cf1Members of the SPF question the driver of a vehicle at a temporary checkpoint on Balad Street. Local clan ties and family relationships between police officers and their communities play a major role in local SPF efforts to police Mogadishu's various districtshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/4196bf31ea5aa3210945c003feee8cf1Will Swanson / Al JazeeraMembers of the SPF question the driver of a vehicle at a temporary checkpoint on Balad Street. Local clan ties and family relationships between police officers and their communities play a major role in local SPF efforts to police Mogadishu's various districtshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/b1ea0bd74fc24a5daac4485e0064d111A Nigerian AMISOM police officer pauses while on night patrol in Mogadishu. Many AMISOM police have participated in fights against local insurgents such as Boko Haram in their own country. Moments later the calm was interrupted by nearby small arms fire that out to be another Somali Police Force unit on patrol in the areahttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Mogadishu_night_patrol/slideshow/no-caption/b1ea0bd74fc24a5daac4485e0064d111Will Swanson / Al JazeeraA Nigerian AMISOM police officer pauses while on night patrol in Mogadishu. Many AMISOM police have participated in fights against local insurgents such as Boko Haram in their own country. Moments later the calm was interrupted by nearby small arms fire that out to be another Somali Police Force unit on patrol in the area

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