MOGADISHU, Somalia — About 35 civil-military coordination (CIMIC) officers in AMISOM and the Somali National Army (SNA) have completed a joint training to enhance their abilities to reach out to communities in the liberated areas.
The five-day training, which ended in Mogadishu on Thursday, builds on efforts to enhance relations between the SNA and AMISOM troops during joint operations.
The training was organised by AMISOM and the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in Somalia, with funding from the UK Mission Support Team (UKMST).
It covered aspects of human rights, protection of civilians, international relations, implementing Quick Impact Projects (QIPs), addressing sexual and gender-based violence, and conflict-related sexual violence.
Maj. Gen. Nakibus Lakara, the Deputy Force Commander in charge of Operations and Plans, who opened the training, noted that CIMIC activities help improve relations between the military and communities.
He observed that there is more to do in terms of civil-military activities in areas liberated from Al-Shabaab control.
“Looking at the capture of Sabiid Anole and most recently Bariire, a lot of CIMIC-related activities are required. I am urging you to explore opportunities that will contribute to rebuilding efforts,” Maj. Gen. Lakara noted.
Participants included 27 CIMIC officers from the AMISOM military and police components and 18 others from the Somali National Army.
Col. Francis Kangwanda, the AMISOM Chief CIMIC officer said the training would boost joint AMISOM-SNA operations, in line with the implementation of the Somali Transitional Plan.
“Our objective is to build the capacity of SNA and AMISOM CIMIC officers to mentor one another and cooperate with local communities while on the field. Training together enables AMISOM to achieve the mandate to mentor SNA,” Col Kangwanda said.
Col. Abdullahi Mohamed Ahmed, the SNA Chief CIMIC Officer, said the training would enable better coordination with AMISOM.
“The SNA command is committed to implementing the civil-military coordination strategy given its importance in boosting relations with the public and countering violent extremism,” said Col. Abdullahi.
Zamzam Hassan, an SNA CIMIC officer, said that she would use the skills acquired to perform her duties.
“We will endeavour to apply the knowledge to build good relations with the public,” Zamzam said.
Gaston Gahungu, the AMISOM Burundian CIMIC officer, noted that the training was an opportunity to share critical lessons with his Somali counterparts.
“As CIMIC officers, this was a great opportunity to meet our counterparts in the Somali National Army, share experiences and improve our knowledge,” Gaston said.