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06 February 2013 - Media release

INTERPOL Chief commends Somalia on police cooperation leading to arrest of escaped murder suspect

Secretary General to raise international funds to fully integrate Somalia into INTERPOL community

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somalia’s cooperation with South Sudan via INTERPOL which led to the arrest of a fugitive murder suspect, has been commended by the head of the world police body, Ronald K. Noble, during his first official mission to the country.

On 10 October 2012 Somalia was re-connected to INTERPOL's global communications system (I-24/7), enabling the National Central Bureau (NCB) in Mogadishu to directly access vital policing information and communicate in real time with all member countries. Somali officers underwent intensive training on INTERPOL’s tools and services at the Regional Bureau in Nairobi, Kenya, to enable them to use I-24/7 more effectively and regularly in order to exchange and verify police information.

In January this year, INTERPOL’s provision of equipment and training to Somalia led to operational success. Somalia had received intelligence reports that a suspected murderer had fled to South Sudan. Through use of INTERPOL's I-24/7 network, Somalia was able to alert South Sudan who arrested the wanted fugitive, Abdirahman Isse Ahmed, and expelled him to Somalia where he now awaits trial.

“This case demonstrates the importance of efforts by the international community to ensure that Somalia is fully integrated into INTERPOL's network of 190 member countries. That fugitive could have been a terrorist seeking to harm any of INTERPOL's member countries,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“All wanted fugitives or dangerous terrorists need to know that they can run but they cannot escape justice thanks to Somalia's commitment to security and to using INTERPOL's tools and services,” said Mahdi Mohamoud Ali, State Minister of Somalia.

“Somalia's police and citizens are sacrificing their lives for security at home and abroad. INTERPOL member countries need to find the resources to allow Somalia once again be fully integrated into INTERPOL. Doing so will enhance both Somali and global security,” said Major General Sharif Shekuna Maye, Somalia’s Commissioner of Police.

Somalia is currently in breach of Article 52 of INTERPOL’s constitution through non-payment of its statutory contributions totalling just under EUR 315,000. Being in breach of Article 52 means that Somalia cannot participate fully in INTERPOL’s affairs.

“Just months after their reintegration into the INTERPOL communications network, we are already seeing the positive results of Somalia’s role in transnational police cooperation. Somalia needs to be rewarded and helped, not punished,” said Secretary General Noble.

“I have met Somalia’s police leaders and senior government officials and seen first-hand their commitment and willingness to engage with the global law enforcement community on an even stronger basis. I am calling on all other INTERPOL member countries to assist Somalia in this endeavour which can only enhance the safety and security of citizens everywhere,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.

Somalia has now become the 57th INTERPOL member country to recognize and provide special visa status to INTERPOL Travel Document holders.