African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) have held the first Regional Civil-Military Working Group meeting in Baidoa to discuss humanitarian facilitation challenges in Bay, Bakool and Gedo regions.
The participants were drawn from local and international non-governmental organizations (NGO), UN agencies based in Baidoa as well as an AMISOM team from Mogadishu consisting of Civil Affairs, Gender, Humanitarian Liaison Unit (HLU), Civilian Casualty Tracking, Analysis, and Response Cell (CCTARC) and Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC).
Speaking in Baidoa, Sunday, AMISOM Humanitarian Liaison Unit Officer, Jackson Robert Basoronga, said the objective of the meeting was to deliberate on the challenges humanitarian workers face and how AMISOM can facilitate their work in line with the Somalia Humanitarian Civil-Military Guidelines.
“We came to convene and establish, for the first time, a civil-military coordination forum in Baidoa. AMISOM is mandated to facilitate and create the necessary security conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance in South-Central Somalia. We are required to create safe environment for humanitarian actors to discuss issues with AMISOM in a way that protects their operational independence,” Basoronga said.
He termed the meeting a success, noting that key challenges can be easily resolved if various actors come together and share information.
“The meeting was a success because we had a number of NGOs and UN agencies participating and we were able to discuss issues affecting humanitarian operations. We reached a common understanding with the partners and military on how to address some of the issues that are affecting the humanitarian partners in Bakool and Bay region,” Basoronga added.
The NGOs identified limited interaction between AMISOM and humanitarian actors in resolving issues as one of the major challenges. The meeting agreed to develop a reliable coordination mechanism to ensure humanitarian supplies were safely delivered to parts of Bay, Bakool and Gedo.
The establishment of the Regional Civil-Military Working Group in Baidoa follows the formation of similar ones in Belet Weyne and Kismayo. AMISOM and UNOCHA also plan to establish other working groups in Dhobley and Jowhar to discuss challenges and forge ways of addressing humanitarian facilitation issues.
Kala Soco Warar Sugan: Ishabaydhaba.com