Thirty-four (34) officers recently deployed under the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have completed a weeklong induction to familiarise with the peacekeeping mission.
The training, which ended on Friday in Mogadishu, aimed to orientate the officers on the AMISOM mandate, objectives, and other issues essential to their one-year tour of duty in Somalia.
Facilitators of the training included officials from the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the AMISOM military, police, and civilian components.
The Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, addressed the officers and advised them to exhibit discipline and utilise the lessons learned to enable the mission to deliver on its mandate.
“We expect you to be people-centred in your work and adhere to the set rules and regulations. We are here to ensure the protection of people from Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups that are a threat to life,” he said.
The induction covered topics such as the structure and mandate of AMISOM, code of conduct, standard operating procedures, child protection, military operations framework, rules of engagement, Somali culture, religion and language, the law of armed conflict, gender, conflict-related sexual violence, human rights, and explosive hazard awareness.
The AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in charge of Operations and Plans, Maj Gen. Nakibus Lakara, told the officers that serving under AMISOM offered an opportunity to improve their skills.
“AMISOM is not your generic peace support operation. It is a fighting and state-building mission. By that, it is complex. The experience you will get will improve your future performance,” said Maj. Gen. Lakara.
The staff officers noted that the knowledge attained during the induction training would enable them to perform their duties satisfactorily.
“The topics covered, such as the culture of the people, were educative. In any place you go, it is important to learn about the culture: the dos and don’ts,” said Maj. Lillian Maela from Zambia deployed as a gender officer. “The training reminded us that we are here to serve the Somali people, especially women and children,” said Lt. Col. Austin Ezeh Okorie from Nigeria.