Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson made his first visit to Mogadishu today (15 March 2017) ahead of the Somalia Conference in London on 11 May 2017. The Foreign Secretary met with President of Somalia Abdullahi Farmaajo and Prime Minister Khayre to discuss the drought affecting large areas of east and west Africa and how the UK and Somalia are working together to improve the security situation to allow the economic development that can help reduce the country’s vulnerability to natural crises.
Mr Johnson saw demonstrations of the training that the British Military are providing to Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) forces. This training is vital to help Somali forces combat terrorism and take responsibility for the security of their country.
At the newly opened Drought Operations Coordination Centre the Foreign Secretary saw how the UN is organising the response to Somalia’s devastating drought and how UK Aid is reaching more than a million people with lifesaving food, water and emergency healthcare.
Mr Johnson also met with regional leaders, newly elected Somali MPs and joined a training session for Somali prosecutors and law students which is helping to improve the Somali criminal justice system.
Speaking after the visit the Foreign Secretary said:
On my first visit to Somalia I was delighted to meet with newly elected President Farmaajo and Prime Minister Khayre. I heard about their plans and priorities and we discussed how we can work together to improve security and deliver the economic development that Somalia needs to improve the lives of all its people.
I was particularly impressed by the demonstrations of the practical help that the UK is delivering on the ground, from our military providing essential training for Somali armed forces to the live-saving humanitarian support from UK Aid. All of this is vital if Somalia is going to move forward to achieve long-term stability and prosperity.
That is why the UK is hosting the Somalia Conference in London in May and I look forward to welcoming the President to the UK to continue this work.
On departure from Somalia the Foreign Secretary will be visiting Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya, where he will be discussing regional security, prosperity and the upcoming London Somalia Conference on 11 May 2017 and the Commonwealth Summit in April 2018.
Note to editors
The Foreign Secretary spent 7 hours on the ground in Somalia, visiting Villa Somalia for his meeting with the President and Prime Minister before returning to Mogadishu International Airport to the UN Joint Mission Training Centre to see demonstrations of the training being provided by British Military personnel to SNA and AMISOM forces.
He also visited the UN Drought Operations Coordination Centre, had tea with regional leaders from Somalia’s Federal Member States, held a reception for newly elected MPs that hold British-Somali dual nationality and joined a training session for female junior prosecutors and law students that will help develop advocacy skills and promote fair trial procedures.