The United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), formerly known as the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA), was established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1863 (2009) to provide logistics support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which was reconfigured to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) following the adoption of resolution 2628 (2022) on 31 March 2022. The current mandate of UNSOS is elaborated on in Security Council resolution 2628 (2022). While the role and mandate of UNSOS remain unchanged by the resolution, logistics support to ATMIS and SSF is expected to evolve with the Security Council’s decision that the African Union operation transition to a smaller and more agile mission, as well as the emphasis on the increasing role of the SSF. In addition, the Council expressed its intention to consider increasing the number of SSF eligible for UNSOS support subject to progress in force generation and drawdown of ATMIS.
(a) Support to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS)
The reconfiguration of AMISOM into ATMIS pursuant to resolution 2628 (2022) is a major milestone in African Union operations in Somalia and provides the framework for the phased and conditions-based transition of security responsibilities to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) by December 2024.
UNSOS is currently mandated to provide logistics support to 19,626 ATMIS uniformed and 85 civilian personnel. Support to ATMIS is through a combination of assessed budget and voluntary contributions from member states to the ATMIS Trust Fund. The logistics support package consists largely of the provision of life support including rations, water, fuel as well as medical infrastructure and supplies, casualty evacuations, transportation (land, sea, and air), engineering support (accommodation, ablutions, defense stores, water wells, waste management), counter IED support, repair and maintenance of equipment, HF/VHF communications, IT support, strategic communications, and training. All support to ATMIS must be in compliance with the United Nation’s Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP).
(b) Support to the Somalia Security Forces (SSF)
UNSOS was initially mandated in 2013 to provide logistics support to a maximum of 10,900 Somalia Nations Army (SNA) in joint operations with AMISOM. However, this support was expanded by the Security Council in 2020 to a maximum of 13,900 SSF, including an appropriate share of the state and federal police, who are formally integrated into the SSF in line with the National Security Architecture and who are actively participating in joint or coordinated operations with AMISOM that directly implement the Transition Plan. Currently, UNSOS supports 13, 900 Somali Security Forces.
UNSOS support to SSF is solely funded by voluntary contributions from member states to the UNSOS-managed Trust Fund, and is subject to compliance with HRDDP. The areas of support are strictly limited to food, water, fuel, tentage, transportation, in-theatre medical evacuation, defence stores and appropriate VHF/UHF/HF communication equipment to enable communication with ATMIS, and training, equipment and mentorship to counter the threat of improvised explosive devises (IED).
(c) Support to UNSOM
UNSOS is mandated to provide administrative and logistical support to the political mission, UNSOM, to enable it to strengthen its presence in all regions of Somalia. UNSOS support includes the provision of living/office accommodation, food, water, transportation, and medical facilities. UNSOS also provides finance and human resources support to UNSOM.
(d) Other areas of support
UNSOS mandate is strictly limited to the above entities in the areas authorised by the Security Council. UNSOS is not authorized to pay salaries or troop stipends to both ATMIS and SSF personnel. However, in support of the UNSOM mandate, UNSOS does indirectly facilitate reconciliation efforts and state building initiatives by providing services such as conference facilities, transportation of Somali Government officials, and physical security enhancements in support of elections.
As a strategic enabler supporting the international community in Somalia, UNSOS provides logistics support to the UN Country Team and diplomatic missions in Somalia on a cost-reimbursable basis.