Support to Operations
UN-CMCoord Mission to Ecole de la Paix, Bamako
From 2 to 13 July 2017, two CMCS staff members worked with the Ecole de Maintien de la Paix (EMP) in Bamako, Mali. The EMP is one of three key peacekeeping training centres in West Africa, training blue helmets and police on a regional level to perform in peace operations. Together with the EMP, CMCS re-designed the UN-CIMIC Training Course for peacekeepers, harmonizing it with international training standards as stipulated by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). DPKO New York will conduct an on-site review of the course in autumn to certify the UN-CIMIC Course for formal UN recognition. This project will have a direct impact on the ground, carrying humanitarian messaging to UN-CIMIC Officers prior to deployment.
Deployement to Amman
One CMCS consultant started her mission in Amman, Jordan, on 10 July. The purpose of the two months’ deployment is to gain operational and practical experience and to support the local UN-CMCoord Officer from the OCHA Jordan Office on the berm operation at the Syrian border.
So far, she has also supported the establishment of a training course on ‘Analyzing and Understanding Non-State Armed Groups’ (NSAGs), organized by the UNSSC (UN System Staff College), that took place from 1 to 4 August. The course brought together several practitioners from the region to exchange experiences, work on case studies and develop analyzing tools.
UN-CMCoord support mission to CAR
A CMCS team member deployed to CAR as UN-CMCoord Officer through ERR from 3 March to 11 April, upon request of the OCHA Country Office. The mission focused mainly on the revision and implementation of UN-CMCoord structures and mechanisms in Bangui and in field locations, to further improve civil-military coordination and preserve and promote humanitarian principles. The CMCS UN-CMCoord Officer also gave briefings to both humanitarian and military actors in Bangui, Kaga Bandoro, Sibut and Berbérati.
UN-CMCoord support mission to Nigeria
CMCS carried out a support mission in Nigeria from 27 March to 7 April at the request of the OCHA Country Office and the HCT. The mission assessed the civil-military operating environment in Nigeria to get a better understanding of the context and propose concrete recommendations to feed into the OCHA CMCoord Strategy. The mission interviewed key military and humanitarian actors in Abuja, Maiduguri, Bama, Monguno and conducted a one-day workshop on UN-CMCoord principles.
UN-CMCoord support mission to Sudan
A CMCS team was deployed to Sudan from 29 November to 12 December 2016 to assess the current CMCoord approach in the country, including in Abyei, Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.
Humanitarian operating conditions in Sudan remain difficult. To gauge the needs and problem areas on the ground, the CMCS team facilitated a self-assessment survey with key stakeholders and met with Government interlocutors, UN agencies, INGOs, national NGOs and donors. The team also conducted workshops with UNAMID and UNISFA to raise awareness on CMCoord and to foster the dialogue with peacekeeping military, police and civilian components. Workshops with humanitarians served to explore alternatives to the use of armed escorts and to discuss CMCoord structures adapted to the local context.
The main findings of the mission indicate that the disjointed approach towards armed escorts represents a major operational challenge. There is a need for practical humanitarian civil-military coordination guidelines and for CMCoord platforms at Khartoum and State level. Recommendations were presented to the Humanitarian Coordinator and the Humanitarian Country team for consideration.
Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination support mission to Haiti - Response to Hurricane Matthew
A CMCS team member was deployed to Haiti from 28 October to 9 December to support the OCHA team with CMCoord activities, together with an Emergency Response Team. The mission focused mainly on the disjoint use of military / police escorts by some humanitarian actors.
Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti 4 October 2016, leaving an estimated 1.4 million Haitians in need of humanitarian assistance, mostly in the South West part of the country. After cases of lootings and angry mobs, some humanitarian organisations started to resort to military / police escorts a week after the hurricane. Escorts were mostly provided by MINUSTAH military and police components and the Haitian National Police (HNP). The main challenges of the mission consisted in making the best use of the limited military assets, while implementing a strategy to phase out from the use of escorts. To this end, CMCoord structures and mechanisms to enable dialogue between humanitarian and military / police actors were implemented and maintained, and several work sessions on the IASC Guidelines on the Use of Armed Escorts and on alternatives to escorts were notably organized. Although some actors are still compelled to use armed escorts in some cases, the increased investment in alternatives, such as community engagement resulted in a sensible diminution in the use of armed escorts.
CMCS Supports Establishment of the Humanitarian Operations Centre (HOC) in Erbil, Iraq for the Mosul Humanitarian Response
A CMCS staff member led the lean UNDAC Team that deployed to Erbil, Iraq on 3 October to 4 November 2016. The mission was to support the establishment of the Humanitarian Operations Centre (HOC) as a readiness measure for the Mosul Humanitarian Response. The humanitarian impact of the impending military offensive in Mosul City is likely to trigger a large-scale population displacement, requiring a fast-paced and complex response operation. Humanitarian clusters in Iraq and their partners have developed preparedness plans to respond to anticipated humanitarian needs. The HOC was designed to be a pace-setting mechanism in support of inter-cluster coordination analysis and response planning processes.
Processes and mechanism to enable a well-functioning HOC structure, including information management arrangements and Standard Operating Procedures for the HOC management, have been put in place. The HOC was operational on 08 Oct 2016 and started facilitating inter-cluster response planning based on likely scenarios. On 17 Oct 2016, the military operation commenced and the HOC was in full swing.
UN-CMCoord Support Mission in Goma, DRC, 2016
In April 2016, CMCS conducted a Technical Support Mission in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is the operational hub of humanitarian and military interaction in the east of the country. The Mission organized a series of workshops in Goma, which catered to the humanitarian community and key representatives from the military, police and civilian sections of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO).
The workshops used the 2014 National Guidelines for the Coordination between Humanitarian Actors and MONUSCO as the key reference document in examining context-specific challenges on humanitarian-civil-military coordination. The frank and open discussions enabled the participants to develop practical approaches in dealing with operational challenges while maintaining respect for organizational mandates. Participants were made aware of their potential contributions to the effective implementation of the national guidelines and, in the process, strengthened the local network. An additional operational benefit, which was much appreciated by the participants, was the development of practical ‘top tips’ for the implementation of national guidelines. They were crafted alongside the identification of key priority CMCoord activities to be undertaken by the OCHA Country Office in the next twelve months.
Assessing the Humanitarian Civil-Military Operating Environment in Chad, 2016
From 1 to 11 March 2016, OCHA’s Emergency Services Branch conducted a Technical Support Mission in N’Djamena and Baga Sola. As requested by the OCHA country office, the mission included an assessment of the humanitarian civil-military operating environment in both locations. The findings formed part of the discussion points and operational analysis during the actual workshops that gathered local authorities, humanitarian actors, UN Agencies representatives, and national and international military actors.
The main civil-military coordination issue identified was the use of and payment for armed escorts by humanitarian actors. More analysis of both security and operational factors, which serve as a basis for making armed escorts mandatory for UN actors, was required. The seeming lack of understanding of the implications of the use of armed escorts highlighted the need to think through alternatives to their use. Therefore, the HCT agreed to establish Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination structures in the country, as well as to develop a common position on the use of armed escorts.
Mission to Cameroon, 2016
OCHA Emergency Service Branch (ESB) deployed a support mission to Cameroon from 23 November to 8 December upon the request of the Cameroon Humanitarian Advisory Team (HAT). The mission involved an assessment of the civil-military environment and challenges in the country, particularly in the north and east where challenges are posing significant hurdles to effective and efficient humanitarian activities. It provided an outline for a UN-CMCoord strategy for the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), recommending key UN-CMCoord tasks based on concerns and challenges identified by the humanitarian community.
Finally, the mission conducted a 1-day workshop aiming at promoting appropriate and effective humanitarian civil-military interactions in Cameroon, including the use of assets to better support the humanitarian community and enhance humanitarian space.