A dozen Ugandan soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have received vessel protection training from French and Ukrainian specialists.
The team was trained in Kenya’s capital Mombasa. The training is the second in an ongoing scheme and part of the comprehensive approach to improve AMISOM capabilities, in this case with enhanced and specialised drills to respond to a potential pirate attack, the EU Navfor said.
The EU Navfor trained AMISOM Vessel Protection Detachment (VPD) will form a group of troops who may embark on the ships providing logistic support for AMISOM shipping en-route to Mogadishu.
Training in the pirates’ modus operandi, tactics, rules of engagement, unarmed combat and detention of suspects were carried out before moving to the AMISOM ship for practical drills.
EU Navfor troop from France and Estonia trained another group of 24 Ugandan troops in December last year. They received vessel protection instruction aboard the French frigate FS Floreal in Mombasa.
According to the EU Naval Force, the training will allow significant flexibility in the planning for World Food Programme and AMISOM escorts.
EU Navfor conducts counter-piracy in the Indian Ocean and is responsible for the protection of World Food Program ships carrying humanitarian aid for the people of Somalia and the logistic support vessels of the African Union troops conducting Peace Support Operations in Somalia. Additionally, EU Navfor monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
The European Union is also providing training to Somali troops to combat lawlessness on land. Late last year 619 trainees were brought from Somalia to Uganda to undergoing soldier training under a partnership between the Ugandan People’s Defence Force and the European Union Training Mission Somalia. This was the third intake of Somali trainees since the EU launched its military training mission in April 2010.
A dozen European countries have contributed to the training effort to strengthen Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The EU has said that there can be no purely military solution to the crisis in Somalia and that such support must be matched by complementary political efforts by the TFG.