The Training for Peace Programme (TfP) at ACCORD, hosted a two day workshop in August to review and adopt the draft Security and Contingency Plan for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The draft manual serves as a framework of procedures for managing security threats to the mission and its personnel, particularly the civilian staff and unarmed police.
TfP/ACCORD hosted AMISOM's Security and Contingency Planning workshop from 07-08 August 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop follows AMISOM's Mission Implementation Plan (MIP) Review workshop in Naivasha, Kenya in May 2012, during which it was found necessary to review and adopt the draft Civilian Contingency manual which has been developed.
The Civilian Contingency Plan will ensure the overall safety and security of mission personnel, facilities and equipment, as well as inform personnel of the various arrangements, their responsibilities and obligations for managing security threats. This is pertinent as Somalia presents a challenging operative environment for AMISOM, with no comprehensive ceasefire in place with the Armed Groups, and direct combat with Al Shabaab insurgents. Thus, the finalization of Security and Contingency plans is crucial given the deployment of AMISOM personnel (including unarmed civilian and police personnel) into complex conflict situations, and the present expansion of AMISOM's operations into new areas in 2012. Participants included key representatives from AMISOM, the African Union (AU) Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD), the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOA), and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) providing insight in the security situation of Somaliland, Puntland and Somalia and an assessment of present security risks in operational areas, as well as credible input in the review of the draft Contingency manual, as part of the forward planning process ensuring that scenarios and objectives are agreed and potential response systems put in place to respond to an emergency. TfP/ACCORD was represented by Mr. Zinurine Alghali, Peacekeeping Unit Coordinator; and Ms. Seun Abiola, Peacekeeping Unit Senior Programme Officer.
During the workshop, key recommendations were brought forward to develop a comprehensive Security plan and implementation strategy to foster this process, and on this basis refine and finalise AMISOM's draft Contingency Plan. This will contribute towards ensuring that personnel, most especially unarmed civilians and police personnel, have the required human resources and mission support policies applicable in the mission area, for the continuity of AMISOM operations even in the event of major crises with the potential to impede performance of mandate and normal workflow. Such initiatives are in line with the TfP Programme's contribution towards ensuring the development of coherent policies and processes which cater for AU field mission specific requirements, and ensuring a multidimensional and integrated support services approach.
The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For more information on ACCORD's work through the TfP programme contact Mr. Zinurine Alghali, Peacekeeping Unit Coordinator on Zinurine@accord.org.za, and Ms. Seun Abiola, Peacekeeping Unit Senior Programme Officer on Seun@accord.org.za.