Tripartite MoU Strengthens UNSOS’ Logistics Support to Somali Security Forces
New York - The United Nations, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), and the African Union (AU) early December signed a Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New York for enhancing logistical support to Somalia Security Forces (SSF).
Responding to the UN Security Council's request for updating the previous MoU on the provision of United Nations support to SSF, the parties, represented by Somalia’s Minister of Defence, Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur; Head of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Mohamed El-Amine Souef; and Head of United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), ASG Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, codified the logistical support model guided by a strong accountability framework.
According to the terms of the agreement, the MoU establishes the modalities for the UN to provide non-lethal logistical support to the Somali security forces for up to 18,900 troops. This assistance is directed to the Somali National Armed Forces, Federal Police Forces or State Police Forces on joint or coordinated operations with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
The updated tripartite MOU builds on the earlier agreement signed in September 2021 and reaffirms the collaborative commitment to strengthening assistance for Somali security forces.
As outlined in the UN Security Council Resolution 2687 (2023), the mandated support package encompasses provisions such as food, water, fuel, transport, tents, in-theatre medical evacuations, field defence stores, counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) training and capacity building, VHF/UHF (Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency) and HF (High Frequency) communications within Somalia.
Under this partnership, the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) will collaborate with SSF and ATMIS on the delivery of logistics support. This includes integrating UNSOS into planning for military operations, ensuring convoy and airfield security, protecting civilians and main supply routes.
The partnership between ATMIS, UNSOS and FGS is to ensure a smooth transition of security responsibilities to Somali Security Forces ahead of the AU Mission’s exit end of December 2024.
Currently, UNSOS supports 15,900 SSF personnel on joint operations with ATMIS, with the number set to rise to 18,900, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2710 (2023) and pending sufficient resources. SSF support is based purely on voluntary contributions from Member States to the UNSOS administered SSF Trust Fund. The United Kingdom and United States recently made generous and much needed contributions to the Fund.
The UN Security Council Resolution 2710 (2023) also requires key partners to maintain momentum on capacity building in Somalia in full consultation with the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States.
UNSOS was established in 2015 -replacing the UN Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) - to assist SSF, ATMIS and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) in supporting peace and security efforts aimed at creating space for reconciliation and the expansion of state authority in Somalia.