THE CHALLENGES, ROLES AND FUNCTIONS OF CIVIL MILITARY COORDINATION OFFICERS IN PEACE SUPPORT OPERATIONS: A THEORETICAL DISCUSSION

Gary Lloyd, Gielie Van Dyk

Abstract


The introduction of a multidimensional approach towards peace missions in
complex emergencies emphasises the importance of coordination between the military
and the humanitarian components at all levels of interaction. Cooperation and
coordination between the military and humanitarian components are critical to
achieve a common goal to alleviate suffering and to save lives. The challenge is how
to develop, enhance and sustain an effective working relationship to overcome the
conflicting views on coordination from the military and humanitarian perspectives.
Humanitarians fear the loss of independence and neutrality when associated with the
military when the military component becomes directly involved in humanitarian
action. During selection, the military needs to identify members who firstly conform
to the generic psychological peacekeeping profile and secondly portray the skills,
knowledge and abilities to perform the coordination function between the military and
the humanitarian component. The challenge remains to select competent military
members in the absence of a psychological profile for the coordination function. This
article paves the way for research on the psychological profile for a civil military
coordination officer (CIMIC officer), highlighting the importance of coordination
through analysing the environment, challenges and perspectives in defining the roles
and functions of CIMIC officers in complex emergencies.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5787/35-2-38

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Copyright (c) 2018 Gary Lloyd, Gielie Van Dyk


ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

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