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PUNTLAND MARITIME POLICE FORCE TASK FORCE WELCOMED IN EYL

March 2, 2012 – Eyl, Puntland State of Somalia – At the request of the Mayor of Eyl, in conjunction with the President of Puntland and the Somalia Transitional Federal Government, the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) arrived at Eyl (Indian Ocean) from Bosaso (Gulf of Aden) to begin supporting long-term security and anti-piracy program.

On 1 March 2012, a task force from the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) arrived in Eyl, Puntland, Somalia at direction of the President of Puntland to help the residents secure the town and adjacent areas against threats of piracy and any other threats to civil society.

The PMPF Task Force, numbering one unit of police officers and support elements, completed a mishap-free 480-kilometer convoy from Bosaso, arriving to a warm welcome offered by the local population of Eyl.

His Honor, Muse Osman Yusef, Mayor of Eyl

His Honor, Muse Osman Yusef, Mayor of Eyl

Approximately 100 citizens turned out to greet the PMPF Task Force about 2 km outside Daawad, the western part of Eyl, and an even larger crowd showed up to welcome the PMPF as they entered the eastern portion of the city, a seaside village which lays between the sea and steep rock faced cliffs.

The Mayor of Eyl, Muse Osman Yusef, stated that; “The people of the community of Eyl are very happy to welcome the Puntland Maritime Police Force,” adding that; “we are looking forward to working with the PMPF Task Force.” His remarks were echoed by the Eyl Chief of Police, Mahad Ahmed Mohamud, who said; “we are very happy to welcome the PMPF Task Force. We want to give them our confidence and work with them to ensure the security and stability of our village.”

Between 2008 and 2010 Eyl was a notorious pirate safe haven. The town is known for having been the birthplace of modern day Somali piracy. As recently as last week a pirated ship MV Leila attempted to dock offshore and was rejected by the community who no longer accept piracy in their midst.

The PMPF Task Force will work with Eyl’s community leaders to remove piracy and prevent the problem from returning. In accordance with the wishes of Eyl officials, the PMPF plans to maintain a presence in Eyl to providing security and stability and support community governance in Puntland’s vibrant coastal region.

The Government of Puntland seeks to create a climate for normalization of trade, good governance and related reconstruction and development. Eyl was once one of the largest fishery centers in Somalia harvesting lobster, tuna and other high value products for the local and international market. Piracy and lawlessness destroyed much of this income and the community will work with the government to rebuild their maritime industry.

The Puntland Maritime Police Force was created by the government of Puntland in 2010 with the help of donor nations. The indigenous national law enforcement program promotes peace and stability through hiring, training and equipping Somalis to bring stability to their nation. The PMPF directly responds to calls from the United Nation and international community for regional Somali authorities to enhance their law enforcement and security capacities. Relevant Somali authorities have briefed and notified the United Nations about the PMPF and its activities on a number of occasions.

About the Puntland Maritime Police Force
The PMPF is a professional, locally-recruited coastal police force in the Puntland State of Somalia. The PMPF’s mission is to promote peace and stability in the region by deterring, detecting, and eradicating piracy, illegal fishing and other coastal crimes; protecting marine resources; and delivering much-needed humanitarian relief supplies to Puntland’s citizens.

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Media Contact:
Mr. Abdirazak Mohamed Mohamud
Project Coordinator
Presidential Office
Tel: +252-90-796179

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