UNSOM Snapshot

3 Jun 2014

UNSOM Snapshot

Formation and mandate
Established on 2 May 2013 by the UN Security Council, UNSOM was launched on 3 June 2013. UNSOM’s core role is to act as an enabler, helping to create and galvanize the political and strategic environment in which stabilisation and peace-building can proceed, including by leveraging other parts of the UN system and international partners. UNSOM supports the Federal Government of Somalia’s agenda of peace, security and nation-building and will help the country move towards free and fair elections in 2016. It exercises its mandate guided by the principles of Somali ownership, flexibility, collaboration and partnerships. In close cooperation with key partners such as the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), it also fulfils the Government’s wish for “a single UN door to knock on”.

Leadership and structure
UNSOM is led by Nicholas Kay, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, and two Deputy Special Representatives: Fatiha Serour, and Philippe Lazzarini; the latter is also resident coordinator/humanitarian coordinator for Somalia.

UNSOM consists of a number of sections: Political and Mediation Group; Rule of Law & Security Institutions Group; Human Rights; Strategic communications & Public Information and Coherence & Effectiveness. UNSOM also has advisers on Gender, Women’s Protection and Child Protection issues.

UNSOM’s headquarters are in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. The mission also has a presence in Garowe, capital of the northern Somali state of Puntland, in the south-central towns of Kismayo and Baidoa, and in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland. In addition, UNSOM has a liaison office in Nairobi, Kenya.

In time, the Mission intends to expand its presence in Somalia, taking into account security and logistical considerations.

Budget & staffing
UNSOM has some 90 national and international staff, with most based in Mogadishu; the Mission’s annual operational budget is about US$48 million.

Snapshot of Activities
Governance – UNSOM has continuously facilitated Somali-led mediation efforts between political actors as part of its peace- and state-building mandate. It played a critical role in successful indirect elections in the northern Somali state of Puntland in January 2014, and continues to play a role in supporting the implementation of the Addis Ababa Agreement on the Interim Jubba Administration, as well as other state formation processes in south-central Somalia.

UNSOM is also supporting the review of the provisional constitution, the federalism process and the path towards democratic elections in 2016 by providing strategic, policy advice, technical assistance and fostering and inclusive national dialogue.

Support for joint AMISOM/Somali National Army Operations & Stabilisation – The Somali National Army and AMISOM launched a joint military operation against Al Shabaab in March 2014; the operation has so far recovered 10 districts. Contingent on adherence to the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy for support to non-UN security forces, the UN Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) is providing non-lethal support to the troops.

UNSOM is working with AMISOM and the Somali National Army (SNA) to implement the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy by conducting pre-deployment human rights training for AMISOM and SNA troops.

The Mission is also supporting the government’s efforts to extend its authority and governance structures to areas newly recovered by the joint military operation.

Rule of Law – As part of efforts to strengthen Somalia’s security sector, together with AMISOM, the Somali Police Force and donors, the UN is working on the recruitment and basic training of 2,300 new officers together with AMISOM, SPF and donors. With Japanese and US support, the UN has also facilitated the rehabilitation of four Mogadishu police stations and the handover to the Somali Police Force of 12 prefabricated police stations. The UN has also provided furniture, computers and accessories to a number of police stations. Additionally, the UN coordinates the payment of more than 5,700 police officers.

UNSOM has also been involved in building the capacity of the country’s custodial corps, including through provision of training to prisons officers and facilitation of uniform donations.

Through the Defence Working Group, UNSOM supports the strengthening of the capacity of the Somali National Army. UNSOM is also involved in supporting the Federal Government’s efforts to bring an end to Somali-based piracy, including through building the capacity of its law enforcement agencies to address piracy and the development of a legal framework and maritime strategy.

Human Rights – As part of the Mission’s mandate to build the Federal Government’s capacity to promote respect for human rights and women’s empowerment, promote child protection, prevent conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, and strengthen justice institutions, UNSOM is supporting nation-wide consultations on the National Human Rights Bill and efforts to set up a National Human Rights Commission.

New Deal – The Somali Compact, endorsed by Somali government and international partners at the Brussels Conference in September 2013, is the overarching platform to address Somalia’s peace- and state-building priorities between 2014 and 2016.

The UN presence in Somalia supports the Federal Government in leading the implementation of the Compact in all its strands, including the political process and dialogue with international partners. The High Level Partnership Forum, which guides the implementation of the New Deal, is co-chaired by Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and SRSG Kay. The UN has committed to align its support in Somalia to the Somali Compact peace- and state-building priorities in the areas of inclusive dialogue; security; justice; economic foundations and revenue & services.

Updated on 15 April 2014