ATMIS Military Officers Conclude 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.

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.

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He then urged the newly-deployed officers to familiarise 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.

During the induction training, the officers were taken through the mission’s Standard Operating Procedures, the Concept of Operations and an overview of the social, political, cultural and religious context of Somalia. They were also trained in human rights law and International Humanitarian Law.

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Facilitators of the training included officials from the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

ATMIS Military Gender officer Maj. Mary Kaonga from Zambia, said 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 you are supposed to apply as you are 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.

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The training course was attended by military officers from Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia.

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