A somber mood engulfed the mission headquarters of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), in Mogadishu on Saturday, as colleagues and friends of the late Acting Police Commissioner Christine Alalo held an inter-denominational memorial service in her honour.
The deceased was among the 157-passengers and crew, who perished aboard the Ethiopian Airlines plane, which crashed shortly after takeoff in Addis Ababa on March 10. In an outpouring of grief, mourners among them foreign diplomats accredited to Somalia, AMISOM and UN officials eulogized the late Commissioner of Police as a champion of Somalia’s recovery and growth.
“She understood that the police played a bigger role in bringing Somalis together,” said the AU Special Representative for Somalia Francisco Caetano Madeira, during the memorial servic Ambassador Madeira noted that the late senior AU Police official understood the policing needs of the Somali populations and had rooted for community policing in the grassroots, “persuading the population, the villages, that the police is not an enemy. That the police compliment their efforts. That the security being provided by the police is good for them”.
The Head of AMISOM recalled that in his last telephone conversation with the late Commissioner of Police, she was enthusiastic about the implementation of the Concept of Operations (CONOPs) and enhanced training of the local police forces.
Lisa Filipetto, the Head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), which provides logistical support to AMISOM, highlighted Commissioner Alalo’s determination to fulfil and realize AMISOM’s mandate in Somalia: “She was not working really just for herself, she was working for the women and children of Somalia and to make sure that one day, they can all live in peace,” Ms. Filipetto told mourners.
Fulgencio Garrido Ruiz, the EU Charge d’Affaires to Somalia; Carlo Campanile, the Italian Ambassador to Somalia; Qin Jinn, the Chinese Ambassador to Somalia; AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn, and the Deputy AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Nakibus Lakara in-charge of Operations and Plans, all paid glowing tribute to the late Christine Alalo.