Somalia gets 888 emergency police line number

Somali policemen march during the Somalia's independence day at Konis stadium in Mogadishu - July 2013 The European Union has been training Somalia's revamped police force

Police in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, have launched an emergency police telephone service for the first time in more than 20 years.

Residents can call the emergency number - 888 - and the authorities say a police car will be sent out.

Police spokesman Mohamed Yusuf Madaleh told the BBC it was part of efforts by international donors to revamp the country's police service.

The government is fighting Islamist militants for control of the country.

The Islamist al-Shabab group has been driven out of Somalia's major towns by a UN-mandated African Union force of some 18,000 soldiers, which is backing the government.

But it still controls many towns and rural areas of southern Somalia - and frequently launches attacks in Mogadishu.

'As soon as possible'

Gen Madaleh told the BBC Somali Service the emergency calls will be rooted to call centres in different areas of the city.

He said the service now had enough cars and officers to deal with requests.

The 888 number is being advertised in the local media. Police promise to send out officers to investigate as soon as possible after a call is logged.

Before the collapse of central government in 1991, Mogadishu had three separate emergency numbers for the police, fire service and ambulance service - none of them available countrywide.

The other two numbers are not yet up and running.

During the civil war, the 888 number was taken over by a private company, which agreed to give it back when asked by the police service, Gen Madaleh said.

More on This Story

Somalia: Failed State

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Africa stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist


  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    The best news photographs from around the world


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Joe Ierardi playing a pianoClick Watch

    Meet the man trying to create the perfect digital piano - but is it as good as the real thing?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.