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Somali, AU civil military officers train to foster ties with communities

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) wrapped up a five-day training in Mogadishu to enhance their abilities to reach out to communities in the liberated areas.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) wrapped up a five-day training in Mogadishu to enhance their abilities to reach out to communities in the liberated areas.

The training builds on efforts to enhance relations between the SNA civil-military coordination officers (CIMIC) and AMISOM troops during joint operations, the AU mission said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Friday.

Nakibus Lakara, 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.

“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,” Lakara said.

The training, which was organized by AMISOM and the EU Training Mission (EUTM) in Somalia, 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.

Lakara said that there is more to do in terms of civil-military activities in areas liberated from al-Shabab control.

Participants included 27 CIMIC officers from the AMISOM military and police components and 18 others from the Somali National Army.

Francis Kangwanda, 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,” Kangwanda said.

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