COVID-19 restrictions eased sees maritime training restart in Somalia

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An important component of the EU NavFor mission in Somalia – person-to-person training – is back following an easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Operation Atalanta reports it received Somali Police Unit and Mogadishu Maritime Police Unit personnel on board ESPS Victoria for maritime skills training late in October. Organised with the support of EU CAP Somalia, the EU civilian capacity building mission in the east African country, the maritime skills training is seen as vital to enhancing local capability for maintaining maritime security.

“The engagement,” an EU NavFor statement proudly notes, “was the first person-to-person activity since the outbreak of COVID-19”.

Training focussed on improving boarding and investigation skills and enhancing maintenance capabilities for overboard motors (OBM) as well as manoeuvring rigid-hulled inflatable boats and preparatory boarding procedures.

“Building and developing regional maritime capability is an Atalanta main objective. By sharing expertise, the operation promotes lasting regional maritime solutions to build maritime security architecture across the region. Maritime capacity building (MCB) activities enhance mutual trust and understanding between the EU and regional maritime forces.

“Maritime training with regional partners is an important aspect of EU efforts to develop the capabilities of local maritime forces and deter piracy off Somalia.

“Working together and under the framework of the EU comprehensive approach in co-ordination with EU sister missions – EU CAP Somalia and EUTM Somalia – development of the Mogadishu maritime police is critical to support Somalia in securing its principal sea port and approaches,” the statement said.