More than 30 military officers from Somali National Army (SNA) and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) have wrapped up a five-day training aimed at sharpening skills in intelligence gathering vital for degrading al-Shabab terrorists in the country.
The AU mission said the 32 soldiers sharpened theory skills in intelligence gathering and processing, surveillance and reconnaissance.
ATMIS deputy force commander in charge of support and logistics Gerbi Kebede Regassa said the UN-backed training provided participants an opportunity to transfer skills to the Somali security forces as they prepare to take full responsibility for Somalia’s security.
“This is one small step closer to our ultimate objective of handing over responsibility to the Somali Security Forces,” Regassa said in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Thursday evening.
He said the training covered intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and was held in Mogadishu and facilitated by the United Nations Field Technology Services.
According to ATMIS, the ISR and tactical drones are important for monitoring and limiting the movement of enemy combatants and have been credited with some of the successes in the fight against al-Shabab in Somalia.
Through use of drones, ATMIS and SNA soldiers have prevented al-Shabab from planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that often kill and injure innocent civilians.
The AU mission said the drones have also protected the movement of convoys and civilians along main supply routes and uncovered al-Shabab elements from their hideouts.
“I have gained valuable knowledge which will go a long way in advancing the mission’s goals through the application of enhanced aviation and intelligence skills,” said Stanely Muriuki from the ATMIS Kenya contingent, who participated in the training. Enditem