Mogadishu (Agencies): The UK, on Tuesday, announced the equivalent of $6.2 million in funding to support Somali security forces as they combat terrorism and work to restore stability in areas liberated from the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, the British Embassy in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, said in a statement.
The funding aims to maintain support and operations against Al-Shabaab and help build the capacity of the security forces, taking on greater responsibility as the African Union proceeds with its mission’s withdrawal from the Horn of Africa country.
According to the statement, the funds will be used for non-lethal logistical support to the Somali security forces, including food, shelter, and medevac. it said, adding that the transition from the African Union mission in Somalia to Somalia-led security “remains our collective goal”.
The Somali national army and its allied clan-based militias who continue on an offensive against the Al Qaeda-affiliated group have liberated large swathes of territories in the central states of Hirshabele and Galmudug. Al-Shabaab has increased attacks since Somalia President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was elected for a second term last year, declared an “all-out war” on the terror group.
Meanwhile, the number of people wounded in the conflict has increased dramatically this year as hostilities flared in different parts of the nation, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said late on Monday. It noted that ambulance teams from the Somali Red Crescent Society have reported a more than three-fold rise in the number of people requiring treatment for wounds caused by weapons.
The ongoing military offensive by the government against Al-Shabaab in recent months and conflict in the northern part of the country between armed Somaliland forces and clan militias known as SSC-Khatumo has seen a sharp spike in the number of people wounded. Close to 1,900 people required treatment for weapon wounds in the past eight months of 2023 — an increase of over 300 per cent compared to all of 2022, according to the ICRC.
The number of people uprooted from their homes in Somalia has more than tripled this year due to conflicts across the country. About 569,000 people were displaced due to conflict or insecurity in January-July, compared to 168,000 over the same period last year, according to data from the Protection and Return Monitoring Network.
The aid group said conflict was the main factor forcing people to leave their homes this year in Somalia, followed by climate shocks like drought and floods.