A section of AMISOM officers at the review workshop

A team of Information, Communications and Technology Services executives from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), are undertaking a technical and asset review exercise for the Mission’s ICT infrastructure, with the aim to make it more effective.

The three-day review workshop, which opened Monday, aims to improve communication systems and secure networks in the Force.

The AU Mission’s Deputy Force Commander in-charge of Operations and Planning Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai, told the group of 39 mission personnel, that the review must ensure a ‘collated projection of the Force’.

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“For any peace support operations to function effectively, or any other operation, military command and control depends on a complex communication network of equipment, personnel and communication protocols to relay information among forces,” he said in his opening remarks.

While highlighting the importance of information and communication technology, in the success of any peacekeeping mission, he called for more robust methods of communications that adequately addresses the needs of the Force and strengthens its effectiveness.

“And this calls for well established communication systems that enhances cohesive, flexible and secure communication networks,” emphasized the Deputy Force Commander.

Other than deliberating on information sharing and the Mission’s communications needs, the three-day workshop, which is supported by the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), will evaluate and identify gaps that may impede the AU Mission’s work.

UNSOS’ support to AMISOM includes the provision of, and management of Information Communication Technology facilities and equipment. The equipment provided by UNSOS range from secure email facilities, radio communication equipment, internet connectivity, satellite phones, asset management and maintenance of the communication infrastructure.

The training came a day later after Al-Shabab militants attacked African Union troops at their base-mostly Ugandan soldiers on Sunday. AMISOM said its soldiers killed at least 30 al-Shabab fighters as they repulsed an attack by the armed group. Four Ugandan troops are reported to have died in the attack, even as Al-Shabaab says it killed over 59 AMISOM soldiers.