UNSOA Strategic Review Team Visits Mogadishu
A 17-strong team of UN headquarters officials arrived in Mogadishu on Saturday to review the operations of the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) and propose options for ensuring that UNSOA has the capacity to meet the needs of its clients.
The team is led by Mr. Wayne Whiteside and will meet with UNSOA and its major clients and stakeholders, including the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), and the Somali National Army and Police. The team is also meeting partners at United Nations and African Union Headquarters, Troop and Police Contributing Countries and member states.
Meetings with the leadership of UNSOM and AMISOM last Saturday focused on UNSOA’s mandate and client expectations.
“UNSOA was established in 2009 when its only client was AMISOM with 8,000 troops in Mogadishu fighting Al-Shabaab. Today UNSOA manages six to seven different clients [and] supports AMISOM with over 22,000 troops; the Somalia National Army with 10,000 troops UNSOM; and Nairobi based clients. There have been adaptations to UNSOA’s resources and mandate over time, but as we move into 2016 with the elections and political process, it was time to look at whether UNSOA and its current configuration remained fit for purpose to support the expanded activities” said Whiteside.
The team met with UN Special Representative in Somalia, Nicholas Kay and the African Union Special Representative in Somalia, Ambassador Maman Sidikou.
Meeting with the team, Kay said, “We all appreciate it has been necessary to step back and look at UNSOA. It is something that UNSOA Director has been asking for for a long time. We will do everything to make a success of it.” Kay noted that violent extremism had reduced significantly in Somalia, adding that the country had started coming together after many years.
AMISOM SRCC Sidikou urged the team to obtain the views of diverse stakeholders, to ensure that the review captured the practical realities on the ground. He made a case for greater resource allocation to UNSOA to enable it effectively help AMISOM achieve its mandate.
Ambassador Sidikou said, that he had insisted that his colleagues in AMISOM ensure the maximum participation of the sectors, to accurately reflect real needs on the ground.
UNSOA is mandated to deliver logistical support to AMISOM, and plays a critical role in helping AMISOM achieve its operational objectives. The UNSOA logistics package includes equipment and mission support services. One of AMISOM’s key objectives is to support the Federal Government of Somalia national security by developing the capacity of the Somali security forces, and to create a conducive environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid across the country.
The strategic review began a month ago and the team has made consultative trips to Addis Ababa; Nairobi and now Mogadishu to engage directly with stakeholders. The findings of the review will be presented to the UN Security council by the Secretary General.