NAIROBI, Kenya, December 1, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) together with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Somalia and with the support of the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) hosted the first Somalia specific United Nations Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCoord) Course from 24 to 29 November 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. The course aiming to improve the effectiveness of international relief operations in Somalia and promote effective humanitarian-military relationships, brought 23 participants from AMISOM (civilian, military and police components) and humanitarian organizations working in the operation in Somalia.
Speaking on behalf of the AU Special Representative for Somalia and Head of AMISOM during the closing ceremony, AMISOM Head of the Political Affairs Unit, Ambassador Basile Gatereste, said “such course comes at a decisive time in Somalia when a structured and principled dialogue with humanitarian actors working in Somalia is greatly needed”.
Mr. Philippe Lazzarini, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia also expressed his satisfaction and stressed that “the humanitarian civil-military coordination is a critical instrument to advance the humanitarian action in Somalia and this course is a unique opportunity bringing the humanitarians and AMISOM to understand each other”.
The 5-day course is one of the tools used by OCHA to improve the responsiveness, effectiveness, and efficiency of humanitarian relief operations. This specific course program focused on the use of foreign military and civil defense assets in support of humanitarian activities in the specific context of Somalia, and the relationship between military, especially AMISOM, and civilian organizations in complex emergencies. This initiative is part of an ongoing program to promote humanitarian civil-military coordination.