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African Union forces in Somalia conduct civilian relations training

Sabahi Online
Friday, March 08, 2013

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Tuesday (March 5th) held a workshop on civil-military co-ordination and civilian protection awareness for key military personnel in the Middle and Lower Shabelle and Benadir regions, AMISOM announced.

"AMISOM as a military forces has, and can continue to push al-Shabaab out of Somalia, but there are other issues to be addressed," said Brigadier General Michael Ondonga, AMISOM commander responsible for the Middle and Lower Shabelle and Benadir regions. "You also need to change the mind-set and assist the people affected by two decades of conflict. These functions cannot be done by AMISOM alone; for this we need to create a safe and secure environment for humanitarian actors to operate."

The workshop is part of a broader effort by AMISOM to expand its capabilities beyond military operations and will be repeated in Kismayo, Baidoa and Beledweyne.

The workshop "provides a unique opportunity to engage in dialogue on how humanitarian actors work and also to ensure that the civilian character of aid delivery is maintained", said Kristen Petillon, humanitarian civil-military co-ordination officer for the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.


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