Episode 9: A conversation with Brigadier General Zakia Hussen, Deputy Police Commissioner of the Somali Police Force

Brigadier General Zakia Hussen, the Deputy Police Commissioner of the Somali Police Force is transforming a previously militarized police force into a softer institution that engages communities and involve them more in security policies, strategies, operations and intelligence. Drawing on her own experience and milestone as the first female to be appointed to her rank and office, General Zakia explains her approach to involve more women in the police force and break the barriers for them by introducing policies and practices that empower them.

At a time when the push for gender justice is gaining momentum, Brigadier General Zakia joins Interpeace President, Scott Weber in this episode of the Resilience Webcast to discuss how women are adding an enormous value on the peace and security agenda. She explains how she is using her office to rebuild trust between the Somali police force and communities in Somalia.

Despite being a prime target for organized criminal groups such as the Al Shabaab – and surviving several assassination attempts – General Zakia remains determined to break up criminal networks in Somalia, liberate areas under their control and create change. She shares specific ways her approach to security has given more flexibility to police officers while still holding them accountable. She also says understanding local dynamics and creating local ownership within the police force is an approach that other countries like the United States of America can emulate to create trust. She has a very clear message to young girls “there are no limits to your abilities”.

Brigadier General Zakia Hussen, 36, is also a diplomat and social activist.