UK Boosts Support for Somali Security Forces with £2.75 Million Contribution

Published: April 17, 2024

The United Kingdom has announced an additional £2.75 million in funding to bolster the efforts of Somali Security Forces in their battle against the al-Shabaab militant group. This latest contribution is channeled through the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) Trust Fund, which provides logistical and non-lethal assistance to the Somali forces.

The new UK funding will facilitate the provision and transportation of essential resources such as food rations, communication equipment, and tents for the Somali Security Forces. It will also support medical evacuations and capacity-building initiatives, ensuring the sustainability and operational effectiveness of the forces.

Notably, a portion of the funds will be allocated to equipping the Somali forces with Very High Frequency (VHF) communication systems and training them in maintaining and installing these systems. This investment aims to enhance interoperability, communication, and coordinated operations against al-Shabaab.

Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, the Head of UNSOS, expressed gratitude for the UK’s steadfast support, stating, “Over the years, the UK has been the central donor to the Trust Fund in support of SSF. This most recent contribution shows their unwavering commitment in support of strengthening logistical support and capacity building to the benefit of Somalia’s brave men and women.”

Currently, UNSOS supports 14,900 Somali National Army and 1,000 Somali Police Force personnel in joint or coordinated operations with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS). Efforts are underway to increase this support to 18,900 personnel, and the latest UK funding will contribute to enhancing personnel training.

The UK’s commitment to achieving a secure and stable Somalia is evident through its significant voluntary contributions to UNSOS, totaling over £20 million since 2022. This includes £5 million donated in January 2024 and another £5 million in December 2023.

As the ATMIS drawdown progresses, voluntary contributions from member states to the UNSOS Trust Fund will remain crucial in supporting the Somali Security Forces’ assumption of further security responsibilities.