Zakia Ahmed, Somalia's first female Deputy Police Commissioner, ends tenure after five years

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Brig. Gen. Zakia made history in 2018 when she became the first woman to serve as the second-in-command of the Somali Police Force.

Brigadier General Zakia Hussein Ahmed, who served as Deputy Commissioner of the Somali Police Force, has announced her departure from the force after five years. She will be succeeded by General Abdala Abdala.

Brig. Gen. Zakia made history in 2018 when she became the first woman to serve as the second-in-command of the Somali Police Force, a promotion from her previous rank of Colonel by then-serving Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire.

Hassan Ali Khaire praised the role of Somali women in rebuilding the nation in a speech following her decoration with the rank. He emphasised the importance of recognising their tireless contributions in every field, particularly in the security sector.

"No nation can succeed if half of its population does not get their rights," the Prime Minister said.

He urged women to aspire to top leadership positions like President or Prime minister.

Brigadier General Zakia Hussein Ahmed attends a meeting of the Police Chief at General Kahiye Training School in Mogadishu in 2019. (Photo: File)

Commissioner Zakia has a diverse background, having worked in various agencies including the Criminal Investigation Unit, the Intelligence Agency, and the office of the Chief Justice.

Reflecting on her nearly six-year tenure, Zakia emphasised her focus on reform, institutional building, and improving police relations with the public.

"I never waver in my dedication to serving my country, my people, and my religion. It's a commitment that defines my purpose and fuels my actions," she said.

"With firm commitment, I reaffirm my relentless determination for Somalia's stability. The courage, spirit and victory of our men in uniform, is an expression of the resilience of Somalis," added the outgoing Police Commissioner.

She expressed gratitude to all who supported her along the way. During her tenure, Zakia spearheaded initiatives such as establishing the 991 emergency hotline, forming a special forces unit of fifty female operatives, and introducing the Share Forum to enhance communication and accountability between the police and the community.

Despite facing challenges, Zakia remained steadfast in her commitment to serving her country, people, and religion.

Commenting on her legacy, security analyst Hodhan Abdirahman in Mogadishu hailed Zakia's transformative leadership and dedication, which serves as a testament to the power of commitment and resilience in shaping Somalia's recovery journey.

"Zakia 's commitment to Somalia's security sets a high standard for future leaders of the agency to follow," said the Security Analyst.

"Her legacy will be remembered as a beacon of hope, showing that gender barriers can be shattered through determination and perseverance," she added.

The Somali Police Force, both at the Federal and State levels, is responsible for crucial community needs like preventing crime, resolving disputes, protecting citizens, regulating traffic, and responding to emergencies, among other responsibilities.

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