Written statement to Parliament

Gifting of equipment to the Somaliland

Gifting of equipment to the Somaliland Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air Transport and Somaliland Department of Immigration.

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

The Rt Hon William Hague

The Foreign Secretary William Hague:

As part of the Government’s approach to counter terrorism (CT), the UK assists key partner nations to improve their CT capabilities. By helping countries to undertake CT activities locally, it targets the problem at source and reduces the risk of a terrorist attack against the UK. The UK is committed to developing counter terrorism capability in the Horn of Africa.

The proposal in this case is to gift security equipment and vehicles to a) the Somaliland Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air Transport to use at Berbera and Hargeisa Airports, and b) the Somaliland Department of Immigration to use at land/sea/air border crossings to ensure that persons entering/leaving Somaliland pass through robust security and immigration checks, allowing Somaliland authorities to identify and disrupt threats to aviation and border security.

The equipment and vehicles will be gifted alongside a training and mentoring package (which is not part of the gift but also provided by the UK), costing £457,263. The training aims to ensure airport security staff can operate X-Ray, Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) and CCTV equipment; as well as to promote the benefits of a sustainable and compliant civil aviation sector through close mentoring of senior officials and professional development of operational staff.

The total cost of the proposed UK gift is £699,465 and will be met by the Government’s Counter Terrorism Programme.

Explosive Trace Detection devices are subject to export controls. FCO and MoD officials have assessed the equipment against the EU Consolidated Criteria and have no objections to the release of these items. This assistance has been scrutinised and approved by a senior, cross-Whitehall Counter Terrorism Programme Approval Board, which has confirmed that it fits with HMG’s objectives.

The gifting Minute was laid before the House of Commons yesterday. If, during the period of fourteen Parliamentary sitting days beginning on the date on which the Minute was laid, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice of a Parliamentary Question or of a Motion in relation to the Minute, or by otherwise raising the matter in the House, final approval of the gift will be withheld pending an examination of the objection.

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Published 19 November 2013