ATMIS military officers conclude induction training ahead of service to Somalia
Forty-one military staff officers to serve under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) have completed a weeklong training in Mogadishu, aimed at facilitating their integration into the mission.
Conducted by trainers from the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the mandatory induction, among other objectives, is designed to ensure that the officers are aware of expected standards, the operating environment and code of conduct during their tour of duty in Somalia.
“The training UNSOS delivered during the Induction will give the staff officers a better understanding of the support we provide ATMIS, which will guide them on their day-to-day operations. We also provide support by ensuring that all officers are trained on International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law in compliance with the Secretary General’s Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP),” said UNSOS Capacity Building Senior Officer, Mariel Ong.
UNSOS is mandated to provide logistics support to ATMIS, including capacity building and training support to contingents to enable their safe and effective operation of UN equipment and their delivery of pre-deployment and in-theatre training.
Also of importance was the training on security awareness, delivered in part by UNMAS.
“UNMAS training of ATMIS staff officers and troops prepares the force in operating in an Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) threat environment as relevant to their role in the mission. The training included courses on security awareness, search techniques , IED disposal, Mission Enabling Unit and medical capability training,” said Mika Toivanen, Project Manager, UNMAS-ATMIS Support Project.
With a range of diverse educational and military skills, the staff officers will be stationed at the ATMIS Force Headquarters in various roles with a core mandate of supporting the Somali-led peace process, including in capacity building of the Somali security forces.
“At this critical phase of ATMIS, high standards of operational readiness are paramount to mandate delivery. The mission is heavily reliant on the competent, efficient and dedicated body of staff officers to manage the day-to-day tasks that collectively count towards attainment of the mission’s strategic objectives,” said Maj. Gen. William Shume, ATMIS Deputy Force Commander Operations and Planning, who represented the ATMIS Force Commander, at the end of the training on Friday.
He then urged the newly-deployed officers to familiarize themselves with the mission’s mandate and to uphold professionalism, which is the bedrock of ATMIS operations in Somalia.
“I am glad to note that the training objectives have been achieved. I officially usher you into the mission’s staff realm, one in which professionalism, ethics, military values, high standards and competence all go hand in hand,” Maj. Gen. Shume added.
To ATMIS Military Gender Officer Maj. Mary Kaonga from Zambia, the training had provided important insights into how best to work with female officers of the Somali security forces in restoring peace and security in the country.
“The training has been fantastic because it accorded me an opportunity to learn more about the Somalia context, the do’s and don’ts that we are supposed to follow as we serve in this mission,” said Maj Kaonga, who has served in the medical corp as a nurse for 23 years in her home-country. She also served under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for one-year in 2010.
The training course was attended by military officers from Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia.