PROJECT DURATION:  August 2018 - December 2019


TOTAL PROJECT BUDGET: € 1,233,859.00

LOCATION:  Mogadishu, Somalia 





The European Union, under the EUCAP programme in Somalia, has been working towards building the capacity of the Somali Maritime Police Unit (SMPU) in order to enhance maritime security. The aim of this project is to equip the SMPU to assume control and protect the Somali coastlines creating a smooth transition for when the African Union Mission withdraws from Somalia. For that reason, UNOPS was requested by EUCAP to build the Maritime Police headquarters facilities inclusive of accommodations, workshops, boat parking sheds, and construction of a Jetty for the sole use of Maritime police.

One of the outcomes of this project is "Capacity building training and mentoring for Mogadishu Maritime Law Enforcement Unit". UNODC was requested by UNOPS to deliver on this outcome.

To this end, GMCP has been deploying full time mentors and trainers within the SMPU in Mogadishu. These professionals have been conducting training for officers on general maritime law enforcement operations, such as carrying out regular security patrols, Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) courses, maritime communication and coxswain. Additionally, courses on marine engineering have been delivered (Basic and Advanced Engineering) as well as exercises on operational tasks, boat maintenance, managing routine, programmed maintenance schedules, and rotation of assets to maintain peak operational availability and output among others. The target of the actions delivered is to impart sustainable skills in maritime law enforcement, boat handling and maintenance.  

GMCP finishes a successful delivery of the project at the end on November 2019 ensuring that the Somali Maritime Police Unit has sufficient capacity to control their territorial waters.



Thanks to the support of the European Union, GMCP has delivered several training to the Somali maritime Police unit in Mogadishu, including trained coxswains, crew members and engineers.

Each training delivered involved classroom preparatory sessions as well as practical exercises at sea with a focus on topics such as basic engineering terminology, safety, engine installation, types of engines and service intervals.

An example of the activities delivered is the basic marine engineering training. The aim of the exercise is to entrench mariner skills to the officers as well as strengthen their capacity to maintain and repair their boats thus enhancing their operational capabilities at sea. Topics covered during the training included; introduction to outboard engines, terminology, basic outboard engine components, tune-up, maintenance and operational requirements. Following the basic engineering training, advanced engineering training was delivered with a focus on communications and emergency procedures.

Another example is the Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) training conducted in Seychelles. Five boarding officers from the MPU were among the 15 officers who received a 10-day course in the areas of boarding preparations and procedures, boarding team composition and communication, initial safety sweep and extended safety sweep, hazardous situations, hidden compartments, at sea space accountability, boarding reports and boarding practical. The training aimed at developing the knowledge and skills of the officers to patrol and secure waters within their jurisdiction.

The last example, and as part of support to the Mogadishu Maritime Police Unit and Bossaso Port and Maritime Police Unit, GMCP experts conducted a full week of pre-deployment VBSS training for the upcoming Cutlass Express Exercise. As an outcome from the course, trainees are prepared on topics including pre-boarding and boarding procedures and roles of boarding teams among others. 



Periodical updates on key project events and news highlights on the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme here



Alan Cole

Head of Global Maritime Crime Programme

UNODC Project Office in Sri Lanka



Francesca Caonero

Project Coordinator

UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa