Fifteen Somalia Navy and Coast Guard (SNCG) officers successfully completed specialised maritime security training in a joint initiative conducted by the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and European Union Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia).
The two-week course, including theory and practical work, aimed at helping Somalia secure the longest coastline in Africa – 3 025 km – ahead of the drawdown of two thousand ATMIS troops by 30 June 2023.
“This refresher training is in line with the goals in the Somalia Transition Plan and ATMIS mandate, specifically as regards mentorship and capacity building of Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) institutions across all domains,” said Major General Peter Muteti, ATMIS Deputy Force Commander responsible for support and logistics.
Speaking at the end of the training, he said it was a significant milestone in ongoing efforts to build robust Somali institutions in preparation for gradual handover of security responsibilities to Somali Security Forces (SSF) in line with the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
“Capacity building of the SNCG is critical to enable maritime law enforcement, search and rescue (SAR) and coastal defence while securing sea lanes and protecting against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, dumping of hazardous waste and other crimes,” Muteti said.
Somalia boasts the longest coastline in Africa, measuring over three thousand kilometres and is rich in ocean-based resources. It is exploited by illegal fishing and smugglers and will need a well-trained and equipped navy to ensure the country can fully benefit from a ‘blue economy’ an ATMIS statement reads.
Over the years, ATMIS, EUCAP and the United Nations (UN) in Somalia have aided the country’s maritime security sector by mentoring, capacity development, training, logistics and strategic level advice, based on coast guard functions and others.
The trainees went through courses including maritime safety, marine mechanics, coast guard duties, maritime law, first aid and communication procedures among others.
Major Matthew Achiga, ATMIS Maritime Commander, said “the training served its purpose because the trainees can now demonstrate understanding of maritime domain awareness, boat handling and a basic understanding of boat troubleshooting.”