On March 5th thirty-five Somali officers from Bosaso Port Police (Puntland) and Galmudug Coast Guard completed a Six Week Basic Training Course (6WBTC) organized by EUCAP Nestor. As previously, the course was facliltated and supported by the Djiboutian Authorities,who offered the use of their facilities as part of a tri-partite program between the EU, Djibouti and Somalia . This is the occasion that the course has been run and overall a total of 150 Somali officers – 70 from Puntland, 60 from Galmudug and 20 from the Coast Guard/Navy for The Federal Government of Somalia have been trained.
EUCAP Nestor’s Head of Mission, Etienne de Poncins expressed satisfaction that the 6WBTC is now well-established and acknowledged by Somali partners as a key element in their quest to rebuild maritime security. “It is good to see cadets originating from all parts of Somalia working hard to improve their skills for their own country” de Poncins said ahead of the closing ceremony, emphasising that the course benefits from strong support from the Djiboutian authorities in particular the Navy, Coast-Guard and the Gendarmerie.
A closing ceremony to celebrate the completion of this latest course was held today (5 March) in Djibouti. Representatives from the Federal Government of Somalia, Puntland and Galmudug, together with members of EUCAP-Nestor Management and other representatives of the EU participated in the event to recognise the achievements of the Galmudug and Bosaso officers
The course commenced on 21 January and over the past six weeks the trainees have learned essential skills such as report writing, criminal investigation at Sea, radio communication, First Aid, Human Rights, Domestic Legal Frameworks, Coast Guard Functions as well as Swimming. The thirty-five Somali officers who have successfully completed the course have been widely praised for their commitment and dedication as they have demonstrated a genuine desire to improve their skills in order to better serve their Country.
The skills passed on to the trainees were all in accordance with International Standards of Law Enforcement and as such also included instruction on respect for Human Rights and Gender Diversity.
State infrastructure needs to be re-built after years of war and instability and as suchacquiring or re-learning these skills is vitally important for Somalia. Following completion of this course the newly trained officers will carry out their duties in their deployed locations (Bosaso and Galmadug) in order to increase security in their own units’ areas of responsibility. One particularly enthusiastic trainee officer who is 35 ande comes from Galmudug (Hobyo) said that hishand was often up during the Coast Guard Function class held by one of EUCAP Nestor’s maritime experts. One of his questions was “What happens when you discover pollution at sea, but you can’t spot who is responsible”? Consequently the officer now knows that pollution at sea can be generated not only in the water, but also from land. He also knows that pollution does not recognize borders. The officer says that if Somalia doesn’t have a functioning and equipped Coast Guard, pollution at sea and other maritime crimes will continue to happen and that Piracy will return. He understands the issue of maritime crime well, as prior to joining the coast guard he was a fisherman. Like other officers attending EUCAP Nestor’s training course, he is convinced that securing Somali coasts will enable the Country’s economy to improve therefore creating stability and ultimately drastically improving the lives of ordinary people. As such security is ”crucial for the security of my country” he said with passion.
EUCAP Nestor has also provided the officers participating in the 6WBT with essential equipment linked to their training such as hand held radios, , First Aid kits, Forensic Investigation packsand Life Jackets, which will all be used in their daily duties.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian EU mission under the Common Security and Defence Policy which assists host countries in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean region (Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Seychelles, Tanzania) in strengthening their capacity to ensure maritime security and in particular to fight piracy.