Developing maritime security in Puntland
Operations centre boosts capacity
SOMALIA: The establishment and refurbishment of a Maritime Operations Centre in Bossaso is boosting local capacity to enhance maritime law enforcement and police capacity.
The EUCAP Field Office in Puntland (FOPL) is facilitating capacity building by providing training and equipment to the centre that includes VHF radios, training equipment and computers to maintain situational awareness and operational communications.
The newly established Operations Centre is also equipped with the Indo Pacific Regional Information Sharing (IORIS) platform; a web-based, maritime coordination and information-sharing tool for national and regional maritime centres to jointly plan and coordinate maritime operations. FOPL has trained the police officers to use IORIS, and another specific training was conducted, focusing on Information Management Systems.
EUCAP Somalia works in partnership with Somali authorities to rebuild maritime law-enforcement and enhance police capability. Field Office Puntland is a compact team of 15 international experts from ten different countries and six members of local staff. The field office is located in the regional capital Garowe, but most of the training takes place in the major harbour city Bossaso.
EUCAP Field Office Puntland (FOPL) organises training for Puntland Maritime Police Force Amphibious Boat Squadron (PMPF/ ABS) and Bossaso Port Maritime Police Unit (BP-MPU). For both units, the trainings include versatile maritime and policing skills necessary at sea and offshore.
The specialised maritime training has included various seamanship skills, including safety and security at sea, maritime navigation, communication and search and rescue techniques. In addition to practical training, the portfolio has also included theoretical courses necessary for the maritime policing. Training and workshops included legal aspects of coastal policing and lessons in maritime technical English language.
Puntland police officers have received comprehensive training, that incorporates human rights principles and emphasizes the environmental aspects of maritime policing in their daily duties. Their skillset has been further enriched through courses covering crime investigation, prosecution of maritime offenses, and internal investigation procedures. Several of these training programs have been conducted in collaboration with Interpol and the United Nations.
Furthermore, FOPL conducted specialised trainings with the PMPF/ABS officers and supported drafting internal regulations, aiming to establish a specialised Internal Affairs Unit. The unit will focus on human rights standards, gender discrimination, code of conduct related matters and conducting investigations on violations, when necessary.
In the spirit of Integrated approach, EUCAP Somalia has been actively collaborating with EUNAVFOR ATALANTA, the European naval operation contributing to the maritime security in the North Western Indian Ocean. EUCAP Somalia facilitated joint exercises and among the PMPF/ABS with EUNAVFOR ATALANTA. The exercises aimed to improve information sharing procedures, chart positioning, mutual radio communications. They also focused on maritime security and search and rescue procedures.