This chapter deals with the way CIMIC is managed in peace operations. There is no single correct or generally accepted way in which CIMIC is accommodated in military command structures.

This chapter will illustrate with different examples how CIMIC branches or cells have been structured at headquarter, sector, battalion and company level. The aim is to familiarise the CIMIC Officer with a number of ways in which CIMIC can be organised so that he or she will have a broad understanding of how CIMIC can be structured.

CIMIC Structures in AU and UN Peace Operations

Most AU and UN peace operations have slightly different organisational structures, and it is thus not surprising if they have different CIMIC structures as well. In fact, most AU and UN peace operations that have established civil-military coordination units to date have not only had different organisational structures, but they have even used different concepts and doctrinal approaches.

This is not surprising if we take into account that most AU and UN CIMIC officers had little or no exposure to CIMIC prior to deployment. This is one of the reasons why ACCORD decided to develop CIMIC training material, and the aim of this online course is to be a source of information to staff officers that have been assigned to a CIMIC role without prior training.

Headquarter Level

In most contemporary AU or UN peace operations one is likely to find some form of CIMIC branch at the headquarter and sector levels. This will typically consist of a section or unit within the operations branch at headquarters with a mirror organisation at sector level. There are, however, exceptions. For instance, UNTAET initially gave so much importance to CIMIC that it had a Civil Military Affairs branch equal in status to the operations branch. At a minimum one can expect that one staff officer will be assigned with the CIMIC task, but it is becoming more frequent that such a unit will consist of between two and ten officers, and that it will report to the Chief of Operations.

In some missions the Military Observers HQ section may have its own CIMIC cell or CIMIC liaison officer, and in such cases there is likely to be close cooperation between the military observer CIMIC Officer and the peace operations force CIMIC Officer. The African Mission in Sudan (AMIS II) was special in that it had a CIMIC structure at HQ and sector level in what was otherwise principally an observer mission.

The headquarter-level CIMIC unit, under the leadership of the Chief of CIMIC, is responsible for advising the Force Commander on the CIMIC campaign plans and providing guidelines to the sectors on CIMIC operational priorities. The HQ cell supervises and coordinates CIMIC functions and training. The cell develops a report on all the CIMIC operations carried out throughout the operation and also maintains a database of all CIMIC-related information in the mission.

The HQ CIMIC section serves as a focal point for operational and tactical coordination between the military and civilian agencies in carrying out humanitarian projects. The civilian agencies include the civilian and police components of peace operations, UN and other intergovernmental agencies, civil officers of host national government, non-governmental organizations and local institutions. The HQ CIMIC cell of UNAMID, for instance, collaborates with the Civil Affairs Section (CAS), Public Communication Information Division (PCID), Political Affairs Office, Humanitarian Affairs Office, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other UN agencies and stakeholders to ensure that humanitarian activities are efficiently and effectively implemented.

Role of the CIMIC Officer

The appointment of trained and skilled CIMIC staff ensures that on matters pertaining to the civil-military interface, the commander is advised by specialists.

A commander needs staff that understands the significance of the often-unique mandates and operating principles of the different civilian agencies. A commander will not undertake an operation without the benefit of the advice of an intelligence or logistics officer, and in complex peace operations nor should they do so without the benefit of a CIMIC Officer.

Hence, CIMIC officers play a crucial role in improving the relationship between the force and the local population through humanitarian assistance and liaison with local authorities and organizations.

In some cases, the CIMIC unit may run a CIMIC Centre at HQ level or meet with and brief humanitarian and other civilian agencies on a regular basis. However, it is more common that CIMIC Officers will participate in the operational-level coordination mechanisms estabished by other agencies, such as a UN Humanitarian Operations Centre (UNHOC) or Humanitarian Information Centre (HIC) run by OCHA, or a UN Joint Logistical Centre (UNJLC) hosted by WFP.

The size and specific organisation of the CIMIC staff within HQs will vary from mission to mission and over time. For instance, in 2015 UNAMID has 8 personnel at the HQ level and 2 personnel each at the five sectors of the mission. MINUSCA has 4 CIMIC officers at the HQ, 2 officers at the three sectors of the mission with one officer each at the battalion levels. For MINUSMA, there are 4 CIMIC officers at the HQ, 3 personnel at the three sector levels of the mission as well as one designated CIMIC officers at the unit or battalion levels. In UNMISS, there are 6 CIMIC officers at the HQ, one officer each for the four sectors of the mission and a CIMIC representative at the battalion level.

CIMIC staff members are not necessarily specialists with skills applicable in a civilian environment. However, they must be trained operational staff officers who understand CIMIC principles and procedures and the environment in which they will operate – and understand the workings of NGOs and IOs. They must be capable of explaining military requirements to civilian organisations and vice versa, as well as carrying out accurate civil-military assessments and providing practical advice to the commander. Above all, they must have the experience and credibility to work closely with all other staff to ensure that civil related factors are integrated into all plans.

Sector Level

The CIMIC Cell at sector level will typically be a mirror structure to the HQ unit, although probably slightly smaller. Apart from functioning as a conduit for information between the battalions and the force HQ, it will also participate in sector-level coordination activities. These will most likely be humanitarian or other civilian coordination meetings organised by OCHA, or in some cases the sector HQ may host a CIMIC Centre of its own. The sector-level CIMIC cell will gather and maintain a database of CIMIC information for the sector and collate all the CIMIC reports from the sector and submit these to the sector HQ. In some cases, for instance in UNMEE, the CIMIC cell at sector level will also be involved in identifying, facilitating and monitoring CIMIC projects and Quick Impact Projects (QIPs).

Battalion Level

CIMIC organisational structures below sector level, i.e. at battalion or unit level, are a national responsibility. The organisational structure for CIMIC at battalion level and below thus depends on national doctrine. Most countries that contribute formed units to UN peace operations do not have CIMIC doctrines. As a result, most battalions in UN peace operations do not have dedicated CIMIC Officers or organisational structures.

Once deployed they soon realise, however, that they need to establish some form of liaison function within their command structure – and one of the existing officers is then typically given the additional responsibility of being the CIMIC Officer (although units will not necessarily use this terminology). Some countries give this task to the operations officer or his deputy; others have assigned it to the intelligence officer; and, some have given the task to the battalion commander’s adjutant. None of these situations are ideal, as the officer already has a task for which they have been trained and prepared, and they usually find it impossible to do justice to both appointments.

However, these officers normally find the CIMIC work very challenging and start devoting more time and energy to it. Their CIMIC responsibilities give them the opportunity to engage people – within the UN System, among the humanitarian and development community, and with the local community – with whom they would not have otherwise had the opportunity to work.

Recommended Equipment List for CIMIC Cells

Transport: One vehicle per CIMIC team (normal UN ratio is 1:4, but this ratio needs to be reduced for CIMIC where main function is liaison).

Communications: Radio equipment according to mission requirements, normally VHF and HF, in office and car; satellite and/or mobile phones (most civilian agencies will be using mobile phones as their primary means of communication) – can be very useful if these are the main means of communication for civilian partners; one handheld radio per CIMIC team.

Office equipment: Workstation (desk, chairs, etc.); stationery according to mission needs (including business cards); lockable storage facilities.

Computer for each member of the team with shared printer; internet and e-mail communications enabled on each workstation; one laptop per team for meetings, briefings, etc.; access to projector within Force or Sector HQ; memory sticks, in addition to CDs, are recommended.

General: Maps and GPS; digital camera and camping equipment (tent, beds, cooking equipment etc. for assessments, liaison visits, etc. in remote areas).

(Based on recommendation by Maj. William Green, Deputy Chief CIMIC, UNMIS, 2005)

CIMIC at Battalion and Company Level

One interesting example of a CIMIC organisational structure at battalion and company (COY) level comes from the Australian mechanised infantry battalions that were deployed to East Timor, first in INTERFET and later in UNTAET. These battalions had a section of forward artillery observes with each company and, as they had no functional task (there was no artillery), they were given the CIMIC (or CMA as it was known in East Timor) function. Each section was headed by a lieutenant and consisted of three personnel. They had their own vehicle and other specialised equipment. These CMA teams served as liaison officers between the COY and the local civilian population and civilian agencies. They attended the coordination meetings run by UNTAET Civil Affairs staff, and coordinated joint taskings. The Australian battalion had a policy of rotating the COYs within its AoR every month to avoid boredom and to make sure the soldiers stayed alert and were kept busy. This would have been very disruptive for civil-military coordination, but the battalion decided to keep the COY CMA teams stationary. This meant that even though the COYs rotated every month, the civilian agencies and local community leaders always had the same battalion and COY liaison teams with which to coordinate. At the same time, it meant that each COY commander had the services of a CMA team that could: brief them on all the issues of importance in the COY’s AoR; introduce them to the local community leaders and civilian agency heads; and, preserve the institutional memory of what has been done.

The CIMIC Officer at battalion level will function mainly as a liaison officer between the unit and the various civilian entities in the battalion’s Area of Responsibility (AoR). The CIMIC Officer will serve as a communication channel between the battalion and the various civilian agencies with which it is in contact; coordinate any joint actions undertaken by the battalion and a civilian agency – for example, providing an armed escort for a humanitarian convoy; and undertake community support and development projects, such as rebuilding a school. These are intended to improve conditions in the local community, to strengthen the relationship between the battalion and the host community and to build confidence in the peace process. The CIMIC officer at the battalion level prepares proposals for CIMIC activities for approval by the sector headquarters where the battalion unit reports to.


CIMIC Staff at Force HQ (January 06)
SO1 CIMIC (Lt. Col.)
SO2 CIMIC (Maj. Humanitarian Agencies)
SO2 CIMIC (Maj. Local Affairs)
Total: 3

CIMIC Staff at Sector HQ
1 CIMIC Officer (Capt.) for each Sector HQ
Total: 8

Total CIMIC staff in AMIS: 11


CIMIC Staff at Force HQ (January 06)
1 CIMIC Chief (Col.)
1 CIMIC Deputy (Lt. Col.)
4 CIMIC Liaison officers (Maj. – 1 for each sector)
1 CIMIC Secretary
Total: 7

CIMIC Staff at Sector HQ
1 CIMIC Officer for each Sector HQ (Maj. or Capt.)
Total: 4

Total CIMIC staff in UNMIL: 11


CIMIC Staff at Force HQ (January 06)
1 CIMIC Chief (Col.)
1 CIMIC Deputy (Lt. Col.) 1 CIMIC Secretary
Total: 3

CIMIC Staff at Sector HQ
1 CIMIC Officer for each Sector HQ (Maj. or Capt.)
Total: 7

Total CIMIC staff in UNMIS: 10

Note that in UNMIS ‘CIMIC’ officers are referred to as Civil-Military Liaison Officers (CMLO).

CIMIC Officers will usually work on their own but, in some cases, they may have a staff of three to five people. Staffing will probably depend on the workload. In many situations where there is no serious security threat, most of the battalion’s work will be in support of CIMIC operations and in such cases the CIMIC Officer’s workload may result in them being allocated more staff. Another scenario – likely during a humanitarian crisis – is where the CIMIC Officer has to manage a CIMIC Centre, coordinate several daily meetings with different humanitarian sectors, and process a large number of convoy requests.

Company Level

Much of what has been said about the battalion level is true for the company level. There is unlikely to be a CIMIC appointment at company (COY) level prior to deployment. However, soon after deployment in UN peace operations, especially in situations where the COY may be deployed a long distance away from the battalion headquarters and where it may have its own sizeable AoR, the need to have a liaison officer will become apparent. This is especially true when there is a sizable number of civilian agencies in the COY’s AoR. However, even the need for liaison with the host community is typically enough to justify the appointment of a CIMIC Officer.

Again, as at battalion level, the person taking on the CIMIC Officer task differs from unit to unit, but in many cases the COY second-in-command has been allocated this role.

CIMIC Centres

CIMIC Centers are offices established by the military to assist them to interface with the surrounding civilian environment. International military forces deployed to a complex emergency will sometimes establish a CIMIC Centers and staff it with CIMIC Officers. They are often located outside military compounds to facilitate access and the exchange of information between military personnel, civilian organisations, local authorities and the community. CIMIC Centers and CIMIC Officers have limited decision-making authority. CIMIC Officers provide an appropriate, and often direct, conduit to their respective military commander and military components, which might provide support to humanitarian action (e.g. engineering, logistics, and medical).

The key functions of a CIMIC Centre are to:

  • provide initial points of contact;
  • provide a focal point for liaison;
  • facilitate the exchange of information;
  • provide advice on the availability and mechanics of military assistance to civilian organisations;
  • reinforce the legitimacy of the force in the eyes of the civil authorities and the local population; and
  • validate and coordinate requests for military support.

CIMIC Centers will generally focus on coordinating functions that are related to specific operational events. These may include: support to the conduct of elections; the return of refugees; major economic initiatives; the repair of infrastructure; visits by major figures in the international community; and, the eventual withdrawal of the military force. CIMIC Centers serve as places where meetings with local authorities, politicians and representatives from the community and other interest groups can take place.

CIMIC Command and Control

Although there are, in some cases, separate CIMIC units at HQ, sector, battalion and company level, command and control remains within the operational line of command. This does not meant that there is no direct communication between the CIMIC units at all these levels, but rather that such communication does not represent formal instructions or reporting lines. The CIMIC units would communicate guidelines and priorities from the top-down, and the CIMIC units would report from the bottom-up, but all official communication would be channelled through the operational command and control network.

Responsibilities of UNAMID HQ Staff Officer CIMIC (SO CIMIC)

Include the following:

(i) Focal Point officer for all CIMIC activities.
(ii) Coordinate all CIMIC related activities with Force Headquarters (FHQ).
(iii) Following-up actions on the Implementation of QIPS from its inception at proposal to its complete implementation.
(iv) Responsible for Collection and Sharing of Information on Humanitarian Activities with NGOs, INGO and Civil Affairs Section members.
(v) Collates all CIMIC Reports; Weekly and Monthly Reports for the attention of the CIMIC Chief.
(vi) Serve as a Focal Point for CIMIC Section at FHQ in CIMIC Working Group with other NGOs and Mission Components with related Humanitarian endeavors.
(vii) Assists in the collation of CIMIC briefs for the CIMIC Section Chief for routine Command Group Meetings.

Example of CIMIC in the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is a peace support operation deployed by the African Union with the authorisation of the United Nations Security Council. Its aim is to provide support for the Federal Government of Somalia in its efforts to stabilize the country and foster political dialogue and reconciliation.

AMISOM is also mandated to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and create necessary conditions for the reconstruction and sustainable development of Somalia.

AMISOM’s Mandate

AMISOM was established by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on 19 January 2007. On 20 February 2007, the United Nations Security Council authorised the African Union to deploy AMISOM with resolution 1744(2007)13. Over the years since the mission’s mandate has been renewed and updated several times. Currently, the mandate of the mission can be summarised as follows:

  1. Take all necessary measures, in coordination with the Somalia National Defence and Public Safety Institutions, to reduce the threat posed by Al Shabaab and other armed opposition groups,
  2. Assist in consolidating and expanding the control of the Federal Government of Somalia (GFS) over its national territory,
  3. Assist the FGS in establishing conditions for effective and legitimate governance across Somalia, including by protecting Somali institutions and key infrastructure, governance, rule of law and delivery of basic services,
  4. Provide technical and other support to Somalia State institutions, particularly the National Defence, Public Safety and Public Service Institutions,
  5. Support the FGS in establishing institutions and conducive conditions for the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections,
  6. Liaise with humanitarian actors and facilitate humanitarian assistance in Somalia, as well as the resettlement of internally displaced persons and the return of refugees,
  7. Facilitate coordinated support towards the stabilization and reconstruction of Somalia, and
  8. Provide protection to AU and UN personnel, installations and equipment, including the right of self-defence.

Structure of AMISOM

AMISOM is headed by a Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia (SRCC). The SRCC is supported by a Deputy SRCC, a mission (civilian) Chief of Staff, the Head of Administration, the Force Commander and the Police Commissioner.

The mission has three components: Military, Police and Civilian.

AMISOM’s civilian component includes humanitarian, political, gender, civil affairs as well as mission support officers. The Mission civilian component is responsible for assisting the Federal Government of Somalia to re-establishing functioning state institutions and delivering services to the Somali people.

The Police component has the mandate to train, mentor, monitor and advice the Somali Police Force (SPF) with the aim of transforming it into a credible and effective organisation adhering to strict international standards. AMISOM Police has deployed two Formed Police Units (FPU) with a combined strength of 280 police officers in Mogadishu. In addition there are 106 Individual Police Officers (IPO) from Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Niger and South Africa. The individual police officers provide mentoring and advisory support to the Somalia Police Force on basic police duties, such as human rights observation, crime prevention strategies, community policing, search procedures and investigations.

The military component is authorised to have a maximum level of 22,126 troops. As of 2016 the Force Headquarters of the military component is staffed by officers from Burundi, Cameroon, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia. The bulk of its troops though come from six countries: Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. They are are deployed in six sectors covering south and central Somalia.

The military component has been instrumental in helping the Somali National Security Forces push the Al Shabaab out of most major towns and cities in southern Somalia. It has created a relatively secure environment which has allowed the local population the opportunity to begin to re-establish local governance institutions that can begin to deliver services as well as rebuild the local economy and create linkages to the national economy and government.

Overall mission coordination is pursued through a number of coordination mechanisms, such as a Joint Mission Analysis Cell (JMAC) and an Integrated Support Services (CISS) cell. The JMAC collects, analyses and shares information from and to all the components of the mission. The CISS is staffed from officers that are seconded from the military and police components and recruited for the civilian component and serves as the central coordination point for all mission support services. The CIMIC cell works closely in support of the JMAC and CISS.

AMISOM is unique in that it has a UN mission – the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) – dedicated to providing logistical support to AMISOM. In addition to UNSOS the mission also benefits from bilateral donations, and voluntary contributions to a UN managed Trust Fund in Support of AMISOM. The European Union (EU) also contributes to the payment of troop allowances and other related expenses, within the framework of the African Peace Facility (APF).

The Role of CIMIC in AMISOM

AMISOM has a CIMIC cell in the Force headquarters, and in each of the six sectors. Each battalion or unit also has a CIMIC officer or a CIMIC focal point.

The African Union does not have a separate CIMIC doctrine, so AU CIMIC is modelled along the UN CIMIC policy at the mission headquarters level. At the sector headquarters and unit level the CIMIC approach is influenced by the national doctrines of the countries that are responsible for those sectors. However, these approaches do not differ greatly from each other.

The CIMIC officers support their commanders with advice on supporting civilian authorities and the local population, they act as liaison officers to the civilian population, local leaders, local authorities and NGOs. The coordinate armed escorts and other forms of support to humanitarian actors. They also coordinate the Quick Impact Projects that the mission is responsible for.

AMISOM is engaged in containing and degrading the Al Shebaab and other armed groups. This means that the role of CIMIC in AMISOM is slightly different from CIMIC in most UN peacekeeping missions where the conflict has come to an end and the mission is helping to implement a peace agreement. A CIMIC officer in AMISOM supports both active combat operations and deals with those areas that have been regained or liberated from Al Shebaab. In combat operations CIMIC officers help plan operations so that they have minimum negative impact on the civilian population. CIMIC officers liaise with community leaders to inform them of the mandate and role of AMISOM and they coordinate requests from the communities for security and support.

In those cities, towns and rural areas where the Federal Government of Somalia has regained control, AMISOM is supporting the Federal Government and local authorities to re-establish basic services and administration, including policing and local judicial services. This requires a lot of facilitated discussion with local leaders to agree on how they want to re-establish their own local government structures.

Because of the security situation and lack of facilities there are very few civilian experts from AMISOM or the UN or other international actors on the ground. The CIMIC officers thus have to take the lead in dealing with community leaders and local authorities on behalf of AMISOM, and they typically serve as the main coordinators between the local leaders and AMISOM’s civilian component, the UN and other international experts, or international NGOs.

Medical Outreach

AMISOM’s field hospitals and medical personnel provide medical services to the civilian population although the facilities were designed to provide medical attention to the deployed troops. Given the depth of problems in Somalia, AMISOM Medical facilities have, as a last resort, become an important supplementary medical resource for many people in Somalia. For instance, in Mogadishu, the three hospital departments treat over twelve thousand (12,000) patients per month on average. Their treatments vary from chronic medical diseases to surgical cases both acute and chronic. Over 90 percent of these patients are from the local population including Somalia government troops and officials.

The medical support provided by AMISOM are, in CIMIC terms, support provided to the local communities. In those cases where there are no local or international civilian medical facilities, the mission also provides humanitarian support as an option of last resort. In addition to the direct benefit to those that get medical assistance, these medical outreach activities also build relationships with the local community. They provide CIMIC and other officers an opportunity to interact with local leaders and to discuss the mission’s mandate and objectives.

Facilitating Humanitarian Assistance

The humanitarian mandate of AMISOM is limited to a facilitation role. The mandate provides that AMISOM shall “Facilitate, as may be required and within capabilities, humanitarian operations, including the repatriation and reintegration of refugees and the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).”

AMISOM facilitates humanitarian assistance by providing security, on request, by engaging in coordination, and as a last resort, by offering medical and other services where humanitarian actors can’t reach people in need.

AMISOM provides armed escorts to humanitarian convoys headed for distribution points in and around Mogadishu and elsewhere in Southern Somalia.

The AMISOM Humanitarian Liaison Unit and its CIMIC officers works closely with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Activities (OCHA), UNICEF-Somalia, UNHCR-Somalia, WFP and other UN agencies and NGOs to establish coordination mechanisms and the sharing of information. AMISOM CIMIC and the UN-CMCoord officer of OCHA in Somalia have developed mission specific guidelines for humanitarian-military coordination in Somalia, including for armed escorts and other situations where AMISOM provides support to humanitarian actors in Somalia.

AMISOM also collaborates with the Somali Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Resettlement, Ministry of Health and other relevant authorities.

Quick Impact Projects

AMISOM’s Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) are typically small scale projects that help address the basic needs of local populations in Somalia. These projects are supported and funded by partners such as the European Union and the British Government.

The QIPs are also used to help strengthen the institutions of the Federal Government of Somalia and local authorities. For instance, QIPs have been used to refurbish police stations, police clinics, courts and local administration buildings.

QIPs are overseen by the Civilian Chief of Staff and approved by the SRCC, but AMISOM’s CIMIC officers play a key role in coordinating the mission’s QIPs project in those areas where, for security and logistical reasons, AMISOM do not have a civilian presence.

Civil-Military Coordination Challenges

AMISOM differs from UN missions in a number of important ways, and this also impacts on the way CIMIC is undertaken. UN missions have a strong top-down command and control system, where the force design, force placement and the actions of the force are strongly influenced by the UN headquarters in New York that does the initial planning. Subsequently the Force Commander and the Force headquarters provide the sector headquarters and units with direction and specific instructions. This type of multinational force design works well in UN peacekeeping missions where the conflict has come to an end and the focus is on peace consolidation. In UN peacekeeping missions CIMIC officers at the Force and Sector headquarters are generated by the headquarters in New York and they operate according the UN CIMIC policy and mission specific plans and orders that are generated at the force headquarters.

AMISOM on the other hand has more of a bottom up command and control system where each of the major TCCs have some degree of autonomy in the sectors they are responsible for. They have some influence on their own force structures according to their objectives and the situations they face in the sectors they are responsible for. AMISOM’s command and control are thus more similar to NATO’s ISAF mission in Afghanistan or its KFOR mission in Kosovo where different countries had responsible for their own sectors. This type of multinational design works better for combat operations where the type of combat may differ from sector to sector. This means that that at the sector and unit level CIMIC is influenced by national doctrine, and are accountable to their sector Commanders. The only multinational or mission-wide CIMIC cell is the one at mission headquarters level and it thus has more of a coordination, tracking and reporting role than a command role.

However, AMISOM CIMIC compensates for the fact that the sector CIMIC cells are fairly autonomous by having regular CIMIC conferences so that all the CIMIC cells have a common understanding of what the mission would like to accomplish when it comes to the overall CIMIC directive and plans. This also helps to ensure that the sector CIMIC cells report the kind of activities to the force headquarters that can be used to track and reflect a mission-wide CIMIC profile.

The security situation also means that in AMISOM CIMIC officers have to take on more of the tasks that civilian specialist will be responsible for in UN peacekeeping missions. CIMIC officers in AMISOM thus have to meet regularly with local leaders and liaise with then in terms of the basic governance services they are responsible for, and they have to liaise more extensively with local and international NGOs and civil society than is likely to be the case in UN missions.


Although there are no specific UN or AU peace operations doctrines or guidelines regarding the organisational structure for CIMIC units or cells at this stage, one is likely to find some kind of CIMIC structure at HQ and sector level. Regardless of the small differences between missions, these CIMIC structures will all be responsible for CIMIC operations which are fairly similar across the different missions.

CIMIC organisational structure at battalion and company level is a national responsibility but, as most UN and AU troop contributors do not have a specific CIMIC doctrine, these battalions are normally not deployed with specific CIMIC appointments or structures. Nevertheless, these units soon discover the need for a CIMIC liaison officer of some sorts, and one of the other staff officers may then be tasked with the additional responsibility of performing CIMIC duties. Although there is likely to be direct communication between the various CIMIC units at HQ, sector, battalion and company level, all official communications will take place on the operational command and control network.

Men wait with sacks of maize unloaded at a warehouse outside Lilongwe, Malawi, in June 2003. The food was donated to Malawi by Sweden and distributed by the World Food Program (WFP). The Southern African region was facing a food crisis due to flooding and drought.