“When I first joined the Coast Guard, I was the liaison officer between the Coast Guard and the Ministry of Interior, and other agencies who were collaborating with for capacity building. After that, the Coast Guard Office was looking for someone to take over the training department, and they needed to have a person that was committed, that knew and understood the system, and that had relevant experience on different areas, and that is when I got my current job”.
She is excited to have the chance to collaborate improving the capacity building of Somaliland officers, as she knows the road is still long, but she is confident that she can make a good difference. She understands the importance of continuous learning when working with borders, especially at the maritime front line, and explains that when dealing with humanitarian emergencies it is necessary to put people first, whether they are coming from a humanitarian crisis, regional droughts or other issues such as conflict and trafficking.
“We are working in the borders, especially the maritime coast line. This is important because we need to know what emergencies can we face, what is the best way to face them, and how can we proceed from a humanitarian approach”.
Zuhuur attended the Training of Trainers (TOT) organized by IOM Somalia, as part of the Regional Migration Response Plan (RMRP), funded by the US State Department, and she was also present in the Intergovernmental meeting, in which Humanitarian Border Management (HBM) strategies were discussed, and where she gave a presentation about Somaliland Coast Guard: environment, challenges, capacities and needs. Among the priorities she identifies are the need of training more officials, working on an integrated manner with all the relevant agencies and creating awareness in the population about the importance of human rights in every aspect of their jobs, whether it is security, humanitarian, education or migration. She now wants to share her knowledge with her colleagues, especially the ones in Berbera, where there are several operation bases.
As one of the few female participants on the two aforementioned activities, she explains how being a woman can sometimes be a challenge:
“I’ve been lucky to have a Commander that believes in women empowerment, and has entrusted strong and capable women with relevant positions within the Coast Guard of Somaliland. I have the goal to become a maritime expert and I am certain that I can do it; I have a double master’s degree, I have experience, and the will to overcome any upcoming challenge”.