EUCAP Nestor’s Head of Mission (HoM), Maria-Cristina Stepanescu carried out her first round of meetings with partners from the EU with a day aboard sister Mission EUNAVFOR Atalanta’s Flagship Tromp, on September 30th 2016.
During the visit, the two Missions discussed potential joint activities within their respective mandates. On board and in preparation of an upcoming capacity building exercise, the HoM together with the Maritime Police Unit (MPU) of Mogadishu and Coast Guard of Somalia witnessed a boarding demonstration organised by EUNAVFOR Atalanta, and facilitated by EUCAP NESTOR, in cooperation with the AMISOM Marine Unit.
The HoM then travelled to Somaliland on the 1st of October to meet staff at their new premises at the Field Office in Hargeisa.
The next day, she met with the recently appointed Minister of Interior Yasin Mohamud Hiir to discuss ways on improving collaboration efforts by both parties. The HoM also visited the Somaliland Coast Guard’s (SLCG) headquarters, where she met the commander of Somaliland Coast Guard Admiral Abdi Hersi Du’ale.
The HoM also had the opportunity to meet with Edna Adan, the founder of the Edna Adan Hospital, who recently received an ambulance donated by the Mission. The discussion centred not only on the challenges but also the rewards of developing healthcare facilities in a post conflict environment.
On October 3rd, the HoM travelled to the coastal city of Berbera, to gain insight of the challenges that the SLCG Berbera operations face on a daily basis.
She then visited the Berbera Maritime and Fisheries Academy to meet with the President of the Academy, Professor Abdiqani Khayrehe and SLCG Commander Admiral Hersi to consider how the Academy could get more involved in SLCG training exercises. The Professor expressed his Academy faced material shortfalls for the students’ practical training such as boat engines. Admiral Hersi Du’ale also confirmed that “theory can only go so far, and practical training is essential” in order to strengthen the cooperation between the Academy and SLCG.
The HoM stated, “The Mission will work to help the Somaliland maritime security actors to fulfil their vision from the future”. The gathered knowledge will help to formulate EUCAP Nestor’s planning for its renewed mandate, as of January 2017, in Somaliland.