The Unified National Examinations for university entry ended successfully in most schools across Somalia, with a record 27,000 students registered for the exams.
The number represents an increase by 4,000, the number of students who will have sat for this year’s centralised examinations, which were re-introduced in 2015, after a 25-year interval, due to the protracted civil war.
Secondary students in Galmudug, South West, Hirshabelle, Jubbaland and Banadir regions were examined in more than 120 designated centers across the country, in examinations that started last Saturday, with the exception of Hiiraan region, where massive flooding has caused displacements and resulted in a humanitarian crisis.
The police component of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) partnered with the Somali Police Force in the capital Mogadishu and in Baidoa, the administrative capital of South West state, to secure the exams.
“We were requested by the Somali Police Force to assist in providing security in the examination centers. We have been working closely with the SPF in securing this area (examination center). So, we are deployed inside and outside of this area,” SP Philip Mukasa, the AMISOM Police Public Information Officer explained.
Security support from AMISOM, aimed to protect the integrity of the examinations and secure candidates from unwanted disruptions by militant groups.
Tresphord Kasale, the AMISOM Police Coordinating Officer for Southwest state said partnership between AMISOM Police and their Somali counterparts was part of the mentorship programme, provided for by the Mission’s mandate.
“We are here to ensure that we mentor and advise them on how to go about this (securing exam centers), when providing such security to students who are writing exams” Kasale said.
The existing peace and stability brought about by the presence of the African Union forces, has brought back normalcy to the Horn of Africa country and enabled the strengthening of institutions, which broke down during the civil war.
The AU Mission in Somalia is committed to securing the country, until the complete transition of the security responsibility to the local forces.