UK contributes £5 million to the UNSOS Trust Fund in support of Somali Security Forces

24 Jan 2024

UK contributes £5 million to the UNSOS Trust Fund in support of Somali Security Forces

Mogadishu – The United Kingdom has donated £5 million to the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) as contribution towards the Trust Fund established to support the Somali Security Forces (SSF) engaged in joint or coordinated operations with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) against Al-Shabaab.

In a statement on Wednesday, the British Embassy in Somalia noted the funding will be used to provide support to the SSF including rations, communication equipment, field defence stores, tents and medical evacuation (medevac) assistance.

Through the Trust Fund, UNSOS provides non-lethal logistical support to SSF. Presently, UNSOS supports 14,900 Somali National Army (SNA) and 1,000 Somali Police Force (SPF) personnel in joint or coordinated operations with (ATMIS) forces with the intention to increase support to 18,900 SSF, per Security Council mandate.

The statement of the United Kingdom highlights that continued logistical support to Somali troops not only contributes to counter-terrorism efforts but also further develops the capabilities of the SSF. This is particularly important as the African Union peacekeeping mission gradually transfers security responsibilities to the SSF ahead of its exit.

“This latest round of support from the UK will make a vital difference to Somali Security Forces who are working tirelessly to defeat violent extremists like Al-Shabaab and restore stability in Somalia and the region,” said Mike Nithavrianakis, the British Ambassador to Somalia.

Ambassador Nithavrianakis pledged that the UK would continue to work closely with the Federal Government of Somalia and other partners to ensure a safe and secure future for the Somali people.

The Head of UNSOS, Assistant Secretary-General Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, expressed gratitude to the UK for the continued support, which has bolstered SSF’s capabilities. She highlighted the UK as a central and dedicated donor to the UNSOS-administered Trust Fund supporting the logistical priorities of the SSF.

Dr. Kacyira reaffirmed UNSOS’s commitment to providing essential logistical support to the Federal Government of Somalia, supporting its endeavors to establish a stable and secure Somalia.

The Commander of the Somalia National Armed Forces, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Sheikh Muhudin, welcomed the announcement of this additional contribution from the UK. He outlined the importance of consistent support during the transition period as SSF take over FOBs from ATMIS whilst conducting offensive operations against Al-Shabaab.

“We welcome the trust placed in the Somali Security Forces, including the Somalia National Army, and the practical support to peace and security in Somalia,” said Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Sheikh Muhudin.

The UK is a leading contributor to the UNSOS Trust Fund alongside other partners who have contributed to the fund in recent years (including Sweden, United States, Phillipines, Qatar and Italy). The latest UK funding follows a £5 million contribution in December 2023. Since 2022 the UK has provided over £20 million in voluntary contributions to UNSOS in support of SSF.

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