Somali, AU troops train to enhance civil-military cooperation in peace support operations

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Russian military vehicle fires during the Center-2019 military exercise in Novosibirsk region, Russia, on Sept. 19, 2019. Tsentr-2019 (Center-2019) military exercises involving eight countries began on Monday in Russia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Evgeny Sinitsyn)
(Xinhua/Evgeny Sinitsyn)

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) security forces have wrapped up a five-day joint training program to enhance their knowledge on the role of civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) in peace support operations, the mission said on Friday.

AMISOM said the training was 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 the SNA and AMISOM.

AMISOM deputy force commander in charge of operations and plans, William Kitsao Shume, said the training would enable the allied forces 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 Shume, who represented the AMISOM Force Commander Diomede Ndegeya.

The five-day training program was attended by CIMIC officers from the SNA and the AMISOM military and police components. 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.

Herman Kabwita, AMISOM chief CIMIC officer, 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,” Kabwita said.

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,” Shume said. Enditem

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