Officers serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, and the Somali National Army, SNA, have completed a five-day joint training to enhance their knowledge on the role of Civil-Military Cooperation, CIMIC, in peace support operations.
The five-day training, organised by the AMISOM Force Headquarters in coordination with the UK-Mission Support Team, UK-MST, was attended by CIMIC officers from SNA and the AMISOM military and police components.
The training aimed to equip the participants with skills to conduct community and leader engagements to win the hearts and minds of communities in the liberated areas under the control of SNA and AMISOM.
While opening the training, the AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in charge of Operations and Plans, Maj Gen. William Kitsao Shume, noted the training would enable AMISOM and SNA to foster good relations with communities.
“Civil-military coordination is an art of warfare used to win the hearts and minds of the civilian population in conflict areas,” said Maj. Gen. Shume, who represented the AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya.
During the training, the CIMIC officers were taken through their roles and responsibilities, project initiation procedures, International Humanitarian Law, gender concepts, protection of children and civilians, reports and returns, among other topics.
The AMISOM Chief CIMIC officer, Col. Herman Kabwita, said the training would enhance the officers’ abilities to reach out to vulnerable communities across the sectors.
“This training was informative, and enhanced the participants’ knowledge, and will assist them during the conduct of CIMIC duties in the various sectors,” said Col. Kabwita.
While closing the training on Thursday, Maj. Gen. Shume urged the participants to apply the acquired knowledge and skills to perform their duties.
“I implore you to make maximum use of the knowledge gained by ensuring its application as you undertake your day-to-day duties in your respective sectors,” said Maj. Gen. Shume.
He hailed the military advisors under the UK-MST for support to AMISOM, as the mission continues to mentor and build the capacity of Somali security forces in line with the Somali Transition Plan (STP).
A CIMIC officer, Maj. Emmanuel Owachgiu, from the AMISOM Uganda contingent said the training was beneficial.
“This training particularly was organised to sharpen our knowledge and skills in handling CIMIC work. We are the people who meet the population in liberated areas, so this training is important for us,” he said.