UNSOM Police

UNSOM Police, © UNSOM Police


To this day, violent conflict is present in several parts of the country. Even where conflicts have been settled; the situation often remains fragile and volatile. To turn this fragile state into lasting stability, it remains pivotal for citizens to have confidence in the provision of security and basic services through the state. Therefore Germany through its stabilization engagement, aims to contribute towards establishing a trustful relationship between the Somali people and their state. To this end, Germany is involved in four interlinked focal areas: federalization, peace building, Demobilization Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR), as well as police building.

A successful federalization process with popular support plays a crucial role in stabilizing Somalia. During the period of state failure, various political entities and societal structures emerged all over the country. With the passing of the 2012 transitional constitution, Somalia decided to develop a federal political system. So far, five “Federal Member States” have been established. They are integrated in the political decision-making process through the Upper House of the federal parliament, as well as through decision-making bodies such as the National Security Council. In order to defeat the jihadist al-Shabaab militia and to establish sustainable state structures, it remains key for the state to be able to provide required public services to the population in a timely manner. Decentralized structures can contribute significantly to meeting this popular demand. Therefore, Germany supports consolidating and strengthening the new Somali federal system, by cooperating with the Somali authorities, the United Nations, as well as with German partners such as the Max-Planck-Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law.

Nomadic life in Punktland
Nomadic life in Punktland© Interpeace

In Somalia, as in other post-conflict settings, the recurrence of conflict is likely as long as the root causes and additional drivers of conflict persist. To limit this risk, the Federal Republic of Germany supports dialogue and reconciliation processes in Somalia on different levels. For example, Germany has supported the governments of two neighboring but conflicting Federal Member States to jointly develop a conflict management strategy. Additionally, Germany supports processes that actively include the local population into state-building processes in a bottom-up-approach. The Berghof Foundation, a Berlin-based organization specialized in peace mediation, is one of the key implementing partners of local dialogue processes Germany has been working with since 2016.

More than 70% of the Somali population is younger than 30 years. After decades of violent conflict, it is crucial to provide an economic and social perspective for these young people. In particular, former combatants – male as well as female fighters – have to be reintegrated into society in order to stabilize local communities in the long term. The Federal Foreign Ministry in this regard supports several rehabilitation centers for former al-Shabaab combatants. These centers are preparing pre-screened beneficiaries for a peaceful and self-reliant life through psycho-social counselling, dialogues with trained, moderate imams, as well as programs on vocational training. Similar but adjusted programs are also offered to youth without an al-Shabaab background

Police training
Police training© UNSOM Police

As part of the internationally assisted reform of the Somali security architecture, Germany co-chairs the Police working group. In cooperation with the police component of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), it provides training, equipment, and infrastructure, as well as technical and logistical support to the implementation of the federal “New Policing Model”. In the divided city of Galkaayo (Puntland/Galmudug), which is marred by clan conflicts and frequent violent clashes, the German Federal Foreign Office supports the training and operation of joint police patrols, in order to prevent further escalation and build trust between the conflict parties.

Top of page