UK Armed Forces personnel have arrived in Somalia to support a United Nations-backed mission in Africa, the Defence Secretary has announced.
LONDON, 02-May-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — Following a recce to assess options, this is the first UK team to travel to Somalia as part of United Nations (UN) support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) that is working to build stability in the country and tackle the threat posed by extremist group Al-Shabaab.
UK military personnel, drawn from Force Troop Command, 1 Div and Field Army training will provide medical, logistical and engineering support as part of a wider UK commitment. Following the arrival of these initial troops, up to 70 UK personnel will deploy to Somalia this year.
This deployment is another demonstration of the flexibility and global reach of our Armed Forces,
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said.
Alongside our efforts in Iraq, Syria and Nigeria, it shows our determination to tackle terrorism wherever it rears its head.
The commitment follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement in September that the UK would send troops to Somalia and South Sudan, and is part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) pledge to double the number of UK troops on UN peacekeeping tasks from the 300 currently deployed.
Personnel deploying to South Sudan will provide vital engineering work to strengthen infrastructure.
This work will require close engagement with the UN in both countries, as well as at its headquarters in New York.
The UK military’s contribution to peacekeeping aims to support efforts to end some of the world’s most destabilising conflicts, and reflects the UK’s long history of supporting UN peacekeeping. This includes a lasting presence in Cyprus, as well as British troops wearing blue berets around the world.