EU and UN carry out maritime training with Somaliland Coastguard


On Saturday 3 December European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) sailors, supported by staff from EUCAP Nestor, carried out radar training on board the Spanish offshore patrol vessel, ESPS Relampago, in Berbera Bay, as a precursor to an engagement the following day on board EU NAVFOR flagship, HNLMS Tromp.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) assisted the EU in preparing for the radar training.

On Sunday 4 December 2016 EUCAP Nestor’s Head of Operations, Chris Reynolds, EU NAVFOR Force Commander, Commodore Rene Luyckx, and representatives from UNSOM’s Rule of Law and Security Institutions Group, hosted Somaliland representatives on board HNLMS Tromp alongside Berbera Port for the Joint Maritime Security Seminar (JMSS).

The JMSS, which was chaired by Somaliland’s State Minister for Security at the Ministry of Interior, Mohamed Muse Dirie, was an opportunity to highlight the importance of international cooperation and collective effort to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Aden, with a focus on the need for effective training, resources and infrastructure, backed up by a sound legislative maritime framework.

During the day approximately 50 delegates discussed Somaliland’s maritime activities and future planning, with a focus on capacity building and legislative support. Admiral Abdi Hersi from the Somaliland Coast Guard also gave a briefing on their recent activities and the challenges they face, particularly with regards to resources and training. Other Somaliland dignitaries included the Minister of Justice, the Chief Justice, Attorney-General, Immigration Commissioner, the Regional Governor, Berbera’s Mayor and members of the international community.

This was the first time that an Operation Atalanta warship has berthed alongside Berbera. The JMSS follows a series of engagements conducted in recent months by EU NAVFOR and EUCAP NESTOR in Mogadishu and Bosasso, where maritime security and the strengthening of Somali maritime capacities were discussed.
“The seminar is a sign of the progress being made to strengthen maritime security of the Somali coast. While Operation Atalanta was recently extended for two years, we will continue to work with local actors, like the Somaliland Coast Guard, to help fully restore their ownership of maritime security.” commented Commodore Luyckx.

Speaking during the seminar, EUCAP Nestor’s Head of Operations, Chris Reynolds said “An integrated effort by the international community is key to laying the foundations for a successful capacity building of security and justice institutions. Today’s seminar marks a step in the right direction.”

UNSOM’s Senior Security Sector Reform and Maritime Officer said “The seminar provided an opportunity to bring together Somaliland officials, their Coast Guard, and the international community to enhance technical-level joint cooperation and maximize the benefits of existing maritime mechanisms in the Gulf of Aden.”