UK Armed Forces Minister Tours Mogadishu

  • UK Minister for Armed Forces visited Mogadishu to strengthen the UK-Somalia partnership.
  • The Minister met President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at Villa Somalia, as well as UN Special Representative Catriona Laing and other international partners.
  • The Minister also visited UK troops delivering training and capacity building to Somali Security Forces.

UK Minister for Armed Forces, James Heappey MP, visited Mogadishu on 25 February in order to reaffirm the UK's commitment to defence and security cooperation with Somalia.

His visit offered the opportunity to engage the Federal Government of Somalia following the launch of the UK Somalia Strategic Partnership in November 2023. Minister Heappey spent time with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at Villa Somalia, where the pair discussed how to further strengthen bonds between the two countries, particularly to help improve security in the country and prepare for the ATMIS transition process.

The Minister also met British soldiers delivering training to the Somali Security Forces and discussed options for further support to Somali efforts to counter al-Shabaab.

The Minister said of his visit:

Somalia is a key partner for the UK and is vital to security and stability across the region. My visit enabled me to see first hand the impact of UK-Somalia security cooperation, as well as encourage greater collaboration and deconfliction with key international partners, including the UN, US and EU.

The challenges facing Somalia are complex, but we remain steadfast supporters of the efforts of the Federal Government to take the fight to al-Shabaab, take greater control of domestic security and deliver a secure and stable future for the Somali people.

Meetings with key international partners provided an opportunity for the Minister to emphasise the need for continued cooperation and to ensure effective and efficient support is provided to the Somali Government.

Minister Heappey will continue his regional visit with engagements in Kenya, demonstrating the vital importance of the region to the UK.

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