Somalia: AMISOM Holds Memorial Service for Christine Alalo

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Saturday held an inter-denominational memorial service in honour of Ugandan police commissioner, Christine Alalo.

The service to celebrate life of Alalo was held at AMISOM headquarters in Mogadishu, Somalia. Alalo was among the 157 passengers and crew who perished aboard the Ethiopian Airlines plane, which crashed shortly after takeoff in Addis Ababa on Sunday, a fortnight ago. At the time of her death, Alalo was working as AMISOM acting police commissioner and was travelling from Italy to Mogadishu when the accident occurred.

According to a statement released by AMISOM, the service was attended by foreign diplomats, AMISOM and UN officials. Alalo was eulogized as a "champion of Somalia's recovery and growth."

AU special representative for Somalia Francisco Caetano Madeira described Alalo as an officer who "understood that the police played a bigger role in bringing Somalis together."

Ambassador Madeira noted that Alalo had understood the policing needs of the Somali population, and had rooted for community policing in the grassroots. He said Alalo was; "persuading the population, the villages, that the police are not an enemy.

Madeira said in his last telephone conversation with Alalo, she was enthusiastic about the implementation of the Concept of Operations (CONOPs) and enhanced training and capacity building for the Somalia local police.

Lisa Filipetto, the head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), which provides logistical support to AMISOM, underscored commissioner Alalo's determination to fulfill 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," Filipetto told mourners.

Rex Dundun, AMISOM police's chief of staff, who worked closely with the Alalo said that her contribution in "attaining peace and stability in Somalia will forever be felt."

Raisedon Zenenga, the deputy special representative of the UN secretary-general for Somalia and the officer-in-charge of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) said Alalo remarkable rise through ranks in Uganda Police and industrious work in Somalia showcased women leadership in peace and security operations.

"Christine was a trailblazer in her own right, rising to the top of the profession in Uganda. And here in AMISOM, she set a strong example of female leadership in not only security services but also in multilateral peace operations," Raisedon Zenenga said.

Zenenga added; "she worked to build bridges and worked closely with all partners including UN police colleagues to support the Somali Police Force to rebuild Somalia's security institutions for the benefit of all Somalis."

Other officials who paid a glowing tribute to Alalo according to the statement include; 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.

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