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Handover of Patrol Boat to the Somali Police Force Department of Coast Guard: Strengthening Maritime Security

POETH Margaret Prison Somalia, Mogadishu:The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Maritime Crime Programme (UNODC GMCP) has supported the Department of Police Coast Guard, which has been instrumental in enhancing our capacity to combat maritime crime and minimise maritime threats in the region. This support has included training programmes and technical assistance to improve our operational effectiveness at sea," said the Somalia Police Force-Department of Coast Guard (SPF-DCG) Commander Colonel. Bashir A. Kassim. This crucial support has played a pivotal role in enabling these agencies to combat maritime crime and effectively protect the waters of Somalia. 

In a ground-breaking initiative in 2023, a UNODC GMCP engineering mentor led a one-year project to overhaul the patrol boat, which repairs to the boat being used as practical exercises during training courses, such as the Boat Crew Engineer Qualification Training Course and the Basic and Advanced Marine Engineering Courses. Throughout 2023, those ongoing efforts resulted in the successful restoration of the vessel concurrent with the delivery of comprehensive engineering training, adding one vessel to the resources available for operational use and the capacity to better maintain the fleet as a whole.

"Refurbishing the 5.6-meter patrol boat under the mentorship of the UNODC engineering mentor was an immense task. Wenever expected this boat to be part of our fleet due to the extensive deterioration and damage to many parts. Facing the severely deteriorated state of the boat and its components, we initially struggled to determine a starting point; however, through collaborative problem-solving and perseverance, we devised a strategic plan to address the issues effectively,” said Inspector Abdullahi Hassan Kulmiye, officer-in-charge of engineering maintenance of the coastguard fleet.

The project was in three stages.

                 Stage 1: Recovering the boat and initiating the procurement actions.

                 Stage 2: Training and refurbishment of systems

                 Stage 3: Final preparation and launching

Stage one: Once the boat was recovered and placed on an even keel condition, the mentor conducted an extensive assessment to initiate the required parts and components for the refurbishment.

Stage two: Focused on providing required training for the coastguard technicians on the systems to be refurbished and giving them beneficial on-the-job training. "Through the Advanced Engineering training on Suzuki DF 200A and 90 A outboard engines, we gained the required knowledge to undertake repairs," said Inspector Kulmiye.

Stage three: Replaced all the components and systems that had temporary repairs with new spare parts and components and conducted successful sea trail, confirming that the boat is now in optimal condition for safe operation.

On 29 February 2024, the patrol boat was handed over to the Coast Guard. The ceremony was attended by representatives from UNODC and the Executive Director Ghada Waly, SPF-DCG Commander Colonel Bashir Kassim, SPF-DCG Deputy Commander Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Yalahow, and other representatives from the Somali Police Force and US Embassy Mogadishu. 

During the handover ceremony, Ms Waly highlighted, “UNODC is committed to strengthening Somalia's Coast Guard officers with the tools and training needed to secure the seas against maritime crimes and piracy.”

“The project has truly demonstrated the team's growth and readiness to handle any challenges that may arise. I am confident in the Coast Guard's enhanced capabilities following the successful completion of the training and this has also showcased the team's ability to adapt and problem-solve effectively, which will be crucial in future operations. The team's dedication and hard work have paid off, and I am excited to see how this newfound confidence and expertise will positively impact the team's performance moving forward,” said Mr. Anil Kulatunga, UNODC Engineering Mentor. 

This project is supported by the US State Department Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) through the Disruption of Arms Smuggling and Associated Maritime Crime in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden project.  

For more information, please contact:

Mr. David O’Connell (

Western Indian Ocean Programme Coordinator

Global Maritime Crime Programme

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Click here to visit the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme website.