Wrapping up his three-day solidarity visit to Somalia, UN Under Secretary-General Atul Khare highlighted the significant role played by the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), noting that the future role of the UN logistical support body in Somalia will be determined as part of the post-2024 discussions on security arrangements in Somalia and a decision by the Security Council.
Khare underscored UNSOS’s support for the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and Somali Security Forces (SSF) and expressed optimism for Somalia’s future. ATMIS is scheduled to exit Somalia in December.
“We have great hopes for Somalia, and I am confident they will build on the achievements made so far and reach even more milestones. We will stand side by side with them and assist them on this journey.”
Khare said during the Somali Security conference in December 2023 in New York, the Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud laid out his vision for Somalia’s security sector as the country prepares to take over full security responsibilities from ATMIS. In alignment with the President’s vision, UNSOS was looking into effective ways to build Somalia’s capacity and provide operational support to Somali security forces.
Regarding the potential extension of UNSOS beyond the ATMIS drawdown, Khare emphasised that the decision rests with the Member States, contingent on the implementation plan and the extent of operational support required.
UNSOS has been actively supporting the Federal Government of Somalia in enhancing the capabilities of the Somali National Army, Somali Police Force, and civilians in critical fields such as civil aviation, supply chain management, medical triage, and medical evacuation. Over the past year, over 500 Somali nationals have received training from UNSOS in various fields.
Through the UNSOS administered Somalia Trust Fund, the UN body has provided non-lethal logistical support to the Somali Security Forces engaged in joint or coordinated operations with ATMIS troops. This support includes delivering logistics such as food rations, fuel, communication equipment, tents, and lifesaving air medical evacuation.
Mr. Khare acknowledged international partners contributing to the Trust Fund, including the United Kingdom (the largest donor) and the United States. However, he stressed the need for additional funding to support more Somali security forces.
“I call upon all UN Member States to contribute to this Trust Fund. This is security for the future to enable the Somali Security Forces to take over full responsibilities,” urged Mr. Khare in his appeal.
In accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2710 (2023), UNSOS was expected to increase the number of Somali security forces supported from the Somalia Trust Fund from 15,900 to 18,900 starting November of the previous year. However, resource shortfalls in the UNSOS-administered Trust Fund have hindered this scaling up.
During his visit, Mr. Khare held discussions with Somalia Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, the National Security Advisor Hussein Sheikh Ali, Head of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Ambassador Mohamed El-Amine Souef, and the leadership of the United Nations field missions in Somalia.
The Under Secretary- General also held meetings with the Commander of the UN Guard Unit Lt. Col. Peter Omeja, Movcon and Aviation section staff as well as UNSOS Section Chiefs before wrapping up the visit with a town hall meeting with UN staff in Somalia.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).