Mogadishu‐March 6th, 2013: AMISOM civilian and military components held a workshop yesterday on civil‐military coordination and protection awareness for key military personnel operating in Shabelles and Banadir regions.
The workshop was designed to build capacities and promote awareness on how military and humanitarian actors can best co‐exist and engage in dialogue in the complex environment of Somalia. Besides civil‐military coordination, key international protection instruments and concrete protection concerns were discussed in the workshop.
In opening remarks, Brigadier General Michael Ondoga, the Commander of AMISOM responsible for Middle and Lower Shabelle and Banadir regions of Somalia and Ugandan Contingent Commander, remarked, “AMISOM as a military forces has, and can continue to push Al Shabaab out of Somalia but there are other issues to be addressed. You also need to change the mind‐set and assist the people affected by two decades of conflict. These functions cannot be done by AMISOM alone, for this we need to create a safe and secure environment for humanitarian actors to operate. ”
Technical experts from UN OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) facilitated a session on the humanitarian environment ‐ actors and guiding principles ‐ and key protection concepts that contribute to a better protective environment for Somali populations.
Kristen Petillon, humanitarian civil‐military coordination officer (UN‐CMcoord) for UN OCHA
commented, “Today’s workshop provides a unique opportunity to engage in dialogue on how humanitarian actors work and also to ensure that the civilian character of aid delivery is maintained. This type of workshop helps military and humanitarian actors to better know each other and opens doors for mutual understanding so that we carry out activities without detriment to our respective mandates.”
This initiative is part of an on going programme to guarantee AMISOM troops in Somalia are properly equipped to achieve their mission in newly recovered areas. The exercise will be replicated in Kismayo, Baidoa and Beletweyne.
Shabelle news desk