Mogadishu:- Troop and police contributing countries to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) met to discuss the status of equipment used by AMISOM.
The two-day meeting which ended yesterday, took place in Mogadishu and was attended by AMISOM military officers from the contingents of Burundi, Kenya, and Uganda, which receive equipment from international partners.
Among other matters, the meeting discussed challenges faced concerning servicing of partner-owned equipment used by the AMISOM contingents, particularly the high rate of equipment wear and tear due to the harsh operating environment.
Bilateral partners such as the United States and the United Kingdom provide AMISOM with armoured personnel carriers and engineering equipment. UNSOS is mandated under UN Security Council Resolution 2245 of 2015, to ensure that the equipment is well maintained.
Maj. Gen. Lakara the AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in charge of Operations and Plans observed that there are documented challenges with maintaining such equipment.
“Lack of spare parts remains the biggest challenge to servicing of partner-owned equipment. This I say from the various reports that I have read,” noted Maj. Gen. Lakara who officiated at the closure of the meeting.
Maj. Gen. Lakara hailed international partners that provide support in the form of equipment donations to enhance the capabilities of AMISOM contingents to carry out anti-insurgent operations.
“Much of the achievements today would not have been possible without the provision of such equipment by our partners,” Maj. Gen. Lakara noted.
UNSOS Senior Logistics Officer, Service Delivery, Mike Collins said UNSOS has a responsibility to keep the partner-owned equipment at about 75 percent serviceability. However, Collins noted that there was a shortfall in ensuring serviceability of equipment due to delivery challenges.
“This was a crucial meeting because we face challenges in maintenance of our partner-owned equipment,” said Collins, adding, “with better communication, we can achieve more.”