UK announces a further £5 million of support for the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS); The funding will be used to provide non-lethal support to Somali Security Forces in their fight against al-Shabaab, including communications equipment, shelter and medevac assistance.
The United Kingdom (UK) Government has allocated a further £5 million in funding for the United Nations Support Office in Somalia through the UNSOS Trust Fund. The UNSOS Trust Fund provides non-lethal support to the Somali Security Forces (SSF) in their fight against al-Shabaab. This reinforces the UK’s commitment to enhancing the capabilities of the SSF to ensure the safety and security of Somalia and the wider region.
The Trust Fund, administered by UNSOS, plays a crucial role in providing non-lethal logistical support to the SSF, including vital resources such as rations, tents and lifesaving medevac assistance. The Trust Fund currently supports 14,900 Somali National Army and 1,000 Somali National Police forces and with the support of contributing countries like the UK is aiming to boost support to 18,900 SSF.
Continued support to troops will not only contribute to the ongoing counter-terrorism efforts against al-Shabaab but also facilitate the further development of the SSF’s capability through provision of logistical support such as fuel and rations but also the materials to set up forward operating bases (‘field defence stores’). Communications equipment will also be provided to increase the operational readiness and effectiveness of the SSF.
Increasing the capability of the SSF is an essential component of the ongoing security transition process in Somalia, which has seen the SSF take on greater responsibility for ensuring national security and stability. The UK remains a steadfast supporter of the transition process and a committed partner in Somalia’s fight against terror.
British Ambassador to Somalia, Mike Nithavrianakis, said of the new funding:
“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.”
“The UK will continue working side by side with the Federal Government of Somalia and other partners to ensure a safe and secure future for all Somalis. We go far when we go together.”
The Commander of the Somalia National Army, Major General Ibrahim Sheikh Muhuddin, welcomed the announcement of this additional contribution from the UK.
He outlined the importance of consistent support in this transition period as SSF take over forward operating bases from ATMIS whilst also being on the offensive 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.”
Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UNSOS, expressed gratitude for the UK’s continued support, emphasising its significant impact on bolstering the capabilities of the Somali Security Forces. Kacyira highlighted the UK as a central and dedicated donor to the Trust Fund enabling UNSOS to support the logistical priorities of Somalia Security Forces.
She reaffirmed UNSOS’s commitment to providing essential logistical support to the Somali Government, supporting its endeavours to establish a stable and secure Somalia.
This new UK funding follows a substantial contribution of £5 million in December 2023. Since 2022 the UK has given over £20m of voluntary contributions in support of UNSOS, supporting a safer Somalia and going far, together.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of British Embassy Mogadishu.