The Somali National Army (SNA) and Somali Police Force (SPF) have for the first time jointly taken part in an EU supported training course to Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED). The six-week course, which concluded this week, saw members of the Explosive Ordnance Department (EOD) of the Somali Police train SNA and Somali Police Darwish (special robust units of Somali police) on IED detection and destruction, as part of civilian-military cooperation initiatives.
The course was supported jointly by two EU missions – the European Union Military Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia), and the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia), with the latter facilitating the EOD and Darwish police officers to take part in the course.
EUCAP Somalia’s Head of Mission, Chris Reynolds, said that the course was a key part of security transition in Somalia. “The course clearly reflects our ambition for Somali Security Forces, which is that they are Somali owned, and Somali led and sustained.”
EUTM Somalia Commander, Brigadier General Fabiano Zinzone, said the course was an important example of the EU’s integrated approach and partnership with Somali forces. “The result of this course embodies the “Team Europe” joint effort at its best in support of security in Somalia,” he said.
It is intended that the course, which focused on cooperation between the army and police, will have equipped the SNA and the Darwish units of the Somali Police Force, with further knowledge to work together in manoeuvers in areas recovered from Al Shabab. It is planned that such cooperation would support faster military to civilian transition under the Somali Transition Plan.
The Director of SPF EOD department, Major Asad Abdalla Said, said the joint training between both military and police units was important to decrease casualties among Somali Security Forces and protect civilians.
“Such trainings for the army and Darwish units of the police on C-IED will help save lives. We have a common, united enemy, so the military and police have to be united in our efforts to counter it and to counter the threat of IEDs,” he said.
All photos courtesy of EUTM Somalia.