AMISOM holds funeral service for Christine Alalo

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.

Alalo 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 service.

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”.

AMISOM Police officers sing hymns during a memorial service for the Acting AMISOM Police Commissioner Christine Alalo at the AMISOM Base in Mogadishu, Somalia

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 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,” 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.

“Her contribution in attaining peace and stability in Somalia will forever be felt,” stated Rex Dundun, AMISOM Police’s Chief of Staff, who worked closely with the deceased.

“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. 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,” 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.

The void she has left following her untimely demise was best described by the staff she supervised, and who looked up to her as their role model.

“As female peacekeepers in AMISOM, we love you, but God loves you more. Continue to rest in the bosom of your creator. May your soul rest in perfect peace,” said CSP Glory Urhere of AMISOM Police.