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AMISOM, SNA soldiers trained on response to humanitarian emergencies

AMISOM, SNA soldiers trained on response to humanitarian emergencies

Forty-five soldiers of the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army (SNA) have completed training to enhance coordination and mutual interaction between humanitarian and security actors in Somalia. 

Supported by the United Kingdom-Mission Support Team (UK-MST) in collaboration with the AMISOM Force Headquarters (FHQs) and the United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), the two-day training in Mogadishu was tailored to improve humanitarian assistance, coordination and cooperation between all players involved in responding to humanitarian emergencies in Somalia.

“Peace Support operations is a delicate venture that needs a robust Civil-Military (CIMIC) framework. This framework is anchored on a reliable CIMIC project that involves coordination and sharing of information among the Somali nationals, local authorities, international organisations, NGOs, and UN agencies to enhance humanitarian assistance,” the Chief Planning Officer of AMISOM at Force Headquarters, Col. Charles Ayiku, told the workshop participants.

The Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), Ian Ridley, said the training, being the first for the humanitarian actors since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, was important in addressing identified gaps in coordination.

“I hope this opens a new chapter in engagement between yourselves, and I commit that |UN-OCHA will take forward the action points from this meeting. We will look at the gaps in coordination and communication with the Somali National Army (SNA) and other stakeholders to address them as we move forward,” said Mr. Ridley. 

Some of the topics covered at the workshop included international humanitarian response system and humanitarian coordination mechanism, humanitarian priorities and current approach in Somalia, military aid projects, health emergencies and operational humanitarian civil interaction.

The Commanding Officer of the United Kingdom-Mission Support Team (UK-MST), Lt. Col. Stroud-Caules, said CIMIC activities help improve the relations between the military and the community, especially for the Somali National Army (SNA), which will take a lead role when the Somali national security forces assume full responsibility for the security of Somalia.

“This is in line with the Somali Transition Plan (STP) and drives towards international integration with the Somali National Army (SNA) and eventually the transition from AMISOM to purely Somalis looking after their own security,” said Col. Stroud-Caules.

The head of Civil-Military Cooperation, (CIMIC) of the Somali National Army (SNA), Col. Abdullahi Hassan, noted the workshop was an important undertaking which will strengthen the capacity of the officers in supporting and coordinating humanitarian operations.

“This training is significant for both AMISOM and SNA. We hold high and believe it will enhance collaboration between all the stakeholders in addressing complex emergencies and natural disasters,” said Col. Abdullahi. 

At the training was Captain Teopista Giramia, a female engagement officer of AMISOM’s Ugandan contingent who said, “we will continue to coordinate and collaborate with the SNA so we can reach out to support the local population particularly those affected by floods and other emergencies.” 

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