UNSOS Support to Somali Security Forces
UNSOS Mandate on Support to Somali Security Forces
In 2009, UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1863 mandated the establishment of a UN support office (UNSOA) tasked to provide logistics support to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In 2013, UNSCR 2124 was adopted and mandated UNSOA to also provide non-lethal logistics support to Somali Security Forces (SSF) in joint operations with AMISOM. Funding for this support option was to be provided through an UNSOA- administered Trust Fund. The Security Council has since encouraged Member States to make uncaveated contributions to this fund. UNSOA’s mandate was reviewed and expanded by UNSCR 2245 (2015) which renamed UNSOA to the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).
In 2022, the Security Council mandated the reconfiguration of AMISOM into the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), and the eventual drawdown of ATMIS and transfer of security responsibilities to SSF by December 2024. In this context, the Security Council next adopted resolutions 2687 and 2710 (2023), increasing SSF eligible for UNSOS support under the Trust Fund from 13,900 personnel to 15,900 personnel rising to 18,900 by 1 November 2023.
The Council also requested UNSOS and UNSOM to support the development of Somalia’s sovereign capacity in the following areas: procurement, supply chain management, logistics and warehouse operations, weapons and ammunition management, engineering, human resources management.
Logistics support to SSF in joint or coordinated operations with ATMIS
Currently, UNSOS supports 14,900 Somali National Army (SNA) and 1,000 Somali National Police Forces (SPF). The SNA and SPF units under support are based in the different Sectors, showing a geographically diverse coverage.
UNSOS is working with the FGS to increase its support footprint and capacity development initiatives, based on UNSCR 2710 and pending donor contributions.
The UNSOS non- lethal logistic support package remains a critical enabler for the supported SSF units in joint or with ATMIS.
The success of the Somali Transition Plan is contingent upon SSF being supported throughout this period by the international community. Despite UNSOS being mandated to support 18,900 SSF, the support office has been facing constraints due to the lack of sufficient, predictable, and sustainable financing for the SSF Trust Fund by Member States.
Scope of UNSOS support to SSF
UNSOS support to SSF is subject to compliance with the UN Human Rights Due Diligence Policy on United Nations support to non-United Nations security forces (HRDDP). The Trust Fund is administered under the UN regulatory framework to ensure fairness and due diligence in procurement and distribution of goods and services. The areas of support are strictly limited as per the UNSOS Mandate.
The mandated support items are specified in the relevant UNSCRs as follows:
- Air Medical Evacuation
- Field Defence Stores
- Communication equipment for SSF-ATMIS inter-operability
- Training, equipment and mentorship to counter threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs)