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Details of Suluhu's All-Female Security Formation

  • President Samia Suluhu’s security team was one of the highlights of the head of state’s arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and State House.

    The all-female security team consists of both ununiformed agents in hijabs and uniformed military aides de camp.

    Tracking of the team’s movement around the visiting president showed that they were operating within a wedge box formation for most of her engagements, and adjusted to suit various environments.

    Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu being received by CS Raychelle Omamo at JKIA on May 4, 2021
    Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu being received by CS Raychelle Omamo at JKIA on May 4, 2021

    When President Suluhu was received by Foreign Affairs CS  Raychelle Omamo, two ununiformed guards flanked the duo while two military aides-de-camp followed behind as well as other members of her close protection detail.

    The wedge formation was the most preferred security formation due to the nature of her engagements in the country.

    According to VIP security experts, the formation is mostly used to move a president through heavy low-risk crowds.

    The threat around Suluhu was considered low risk because most of the people she interacted with were screened and cleared in advance.

    When flanking the president in a wedge formation, the head of state should be on the right with the security detail leader to their right. 

    In the event of an attack, she is responsible for securing the president and removing her from the threat. 

    The other bodyguards encircle and shield the head of state with their bodies, withdrawing her from the area to a vehicle, a safe haven, or any other location where injury can be avoided. 

    The detail leader is the decision-maker when it comes to adjusting the formation, changing the route or calling in the vehicles to evacuate the president.

    The leader can use a 2-way radio as well as hand signals to adjust formations without informing the public or crowds. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) receives Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu (left) at State House, Nairobi on Tuesday, May 4, 2021
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