The international community must do more to help the African Union lead the fight against al-Shabaab as Somalia takes on greater responsibility for its own security, Theresa May will said yesterday.
The UK has a strong track record both in supporting the African Union and helping Somalia rebuild its police and military forces after decades of insecurity.
On a visit to a UK-backed Counter-IED training centre in Nairobi the Prime Minister saw British troops helping prepare soldiers from Kenya and the region to deploy as part of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).
British instructors and their Kenyan counterparts are training troops in the tactics and techniques needed to identify and destroy the home-made bombs which are increasingly the weapon of choice for terrorists in the region.
Announcing over £7 million of new UK funding to support the AU’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia, she called on international donors to contribute more, setting out that an unstable Somalia has a knock-on effect on stability across the region and further afield.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Somalia is at a critical juncture and sustainable, predictable funding and support for the troops who are building stability in the region is vital to support a transition to Somali-led security, when the conditions for a handover are right.”
Last year the UK contributed £385 million towards international efforts to help the Somali people build an increasingly secure, stable and prosperous country.
The Prime Minister hosted the London Somalia Conference in 2017 which agreed the international community’s new partnership with the Federal Government of Somalia.
While in Kenya, she announced further funding to support Somalia in a range of areas, including:
- more than £60 million to help over a million people cope with and recover from the impact of conflict and drought. Lifesaving food, clean water and medicine, along with support to find stable jobs, will help Somalis to look after themselves and their families in the long-term, reducing their dependence on humanitarian aid
- more than £25 million to support Somalia as it works to establish a stable and democratic political system. This will include advice to help develop rules on resource and power-sharing, and to prepare for landmark elections, including through support for voter and political party registration