News story

Somalia conference aims: Armed forces

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Security is a top priority for Somalia, the President has said that he wants to develop armed forces that can guarantee Somalia’s security.

Why is the Somalia Conference focusing on the armed forces?

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has frequently said that security is his top priority. The Federal Government of Somalia has set out its desire to ‘gradually build and properly finance a unified security force that enjoys the public confidence which is free from sectarian and or clan influence to preserve the public order and protect the people and their property throughout Somalia’.

Since coming into power, the Federal Government has repeatedly emphasised its commitment to this agenda, and the President has said that he wants to develop armed forces that can guarantee Somalia’s security.

Ultimately, Somalia must be in control of its own internal and external security. To achieve this, legitimate and effective security forces with clear accountability structures and civilian oversight need to be developed. The armed forces will be an important part of this, alongside the police and a coastguard. The development of these forces will also allow external forces to withdraw.

Progress made so far

Somali forces fighting alongside AMISOM and Ethiopian troops have taken key strongholds such as Kismaayo from Al Shabaab, and more key towns and routes are now under Government control.

The National Security and Stabilisation Plan was passed by presidential decree on 8 August 2012. This document “Defines the process by which the Federal Government of Somalia will lead in re-orienting the policies, structures and operational capacities of security and justice institutions and groups in Somalia”.

The Federal Government of Somalia is now taking forward work, with the EU, Turkey, UK and US in order to develop a prioritised and costed plan to meet the immediate requirements of the current Somali National Army.

Support is already being provided by partners in building the capacity of the Somali Armed Forces, notably through the European Union Training Mission Somalia and US programmes, as well as a significant contribution being made by Turkey. AMISOM troop contributing countries and Ethiopia are also providing vital operational level support to Somali forces fighting alongside AMISOM. Other partners are providing bilateral support, including Italy and UK.

What do we want the conference to achieve?

We want the conference to further progress on this by: • Endorsing a Federal Government of Somalia plan for meeting the immediate requirements of the current armed forces; • Agreeing coordinated international support to implement the plan; and • Attracting funding for the delivery of this plan.

Further information

Find out more about the Somalia Conference 2013