The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army (SNA) on Wednesday launched a Joint Operations Coordination Centre (JOCC) in Mogadishu to bolster ongoing efforts to degrade Al-Shabaab extremists and stabilize Somalia.
The centre established at the AMISOM sector one headquarters, was officially launched at a ceremony presided over by the SNA Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Odowaa Yusuf Rageh and the AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in charge Operations and Plans, Maj.Gen.William Kitsao Shume.
The centre, which is jointly operated by AMISOM and SNA military officers, will enhance joint planning and coordination of military operations against Al-Shabaab.
At the launch, Gen. Odowaa, reiterated SNA’s commitment and emphasized the importance of collaboration between SNA and AMISOM in running the centres established across AMISOM’s areas of responsibility.
“The success of these centres will depend on the relationship of the two headquarters of SNA and AMISOM, and how they coordinate in delegating work to the sectors, which then execute any such directives for successful execution and implementation. On our part, we will put in a lot of effort to make that happen,” said Gen. Odowaa.
The centre in Mogadishu is one of six centres, recently established across the country in line with recommendations of a joint Sector Commanders’ Conference, held earlier this year.
The Somali CDF called for collaboration, coordination and mutual respect between SNA and AMISOM officers deployed at the centre, to enable the mission to tap the full benefit of the centre, and all others across the country.
Gen. Odowaa said AMISOM and SNA have established a good working relationship over the years, noting that such shared experiences between the two forces will enable them to optimize the centre.
“I believe our long standing cooperation and experiences gained over years will help us to get the best out of this center so we can ably confront the challenges that lie ahead. Let us utilize the center and optimize any opportunities we might have missed, prior to the establishment of the centre,” added Gen. Odowaa.
Prior to the launch, Gen. Odowaa inspected a guard of honour mounted by AMISOM troops and later attended a closed-door security meeting.
On his part, Maj. Gen. Shume, said the launch of the centre was an important milestone in achieving a shared goal of having fully operational centres across the country.
“This event marks a milestone in our endeavor to have all the JOCCs around the sectors fully functioning and operating. I am happy to note that the JOCCs in all the other sectors are also already established. We will be jointly planning, coordinating and synchronizing current and future operations together. Therefore, we will be able to optimize the utilization of combat support and combat service support together as we plan for our operations,” said Maj. Gen. Shume.
Maj. Gen. Don Nabasa, AMISOM Sector One Commander reiterated the importance of joint planning, noting that the establishment of the centre and several others across the country, would help address some of the challenges faced by both forces.
“For effective conduct of any operation, planning is the most critical. Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to thank the SNA and AMISOM leadership for this wonderful initiative of establishing Joint Operations Coordination Cells in all the sectors. This will definitely bridge the gap that has been existing in the area of joint planning,” said Maj. Gen. Nabasa.
Composed of various cells from administration, intelligence, operations, logistics, communications and Civil Military Coordination (CIMIC), the JOCCs will enable AMISOM and SNA to get a clearer common understanding of the threat situation, to enhance operational effectiveness and collaboration.