The Rule of Law & Security Institutions Group (ROLSIG) is a new structure within UN Missions, in that it brings together UN elements (Mission staff & UNDP) in order to deliver a ‘One UN’ approach in support of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the Somali people. The New Deal Compact signed in Brussels on 16 September 2013 offers “A new beginning for a sovereign, secure, democratic, united and federal Somalia at peace with itself, and for the benefit of its people”. UNSOM plays a major part in supporting the delivery of the Compact’s goals on security and justice.


Coordination – UNSOM is working with the Federal Government and the wider international community to develop appropriate coordination mechanisms that allow delivery of the necessary support for Somalia’s security institutions. Whilst AMISOM is the lead for operational engagement with these security institutions, the United Nations is focused on longer-term capacity building. This involves providing assistance in areas such as training, logistic planning, infrastructure development, human resource programmes, such as stipend payments, and equipment procurement. The Defence Working Group and Police Working Group are good examples of how this achieved, with UNSOM directly supporting the most senior members of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior and National Security.

Security Sector Reform – There is a need to streamline and integrate the country’s many security forces into its federal institutions. The Federal Government of Somalia defines the independent militia groups in Somalia as ‘regional security forces’ and is undertaking a political outreach process – particularly through Members of Parliament – to determine the appropriate roles of local, regional and federal authorities. UNSOM supports engagement by the Commander of the Somali National Army and the Police Commissioner of the Somali Police Force in persuading these regional security forces to align with, and integrate into, FGS security institutions. Our collective security efforts can be used, among other things, to support the political process and engage militia groups with the Federal Government’s security institutions

Disengaged combatants – UNSOM is supporting the operationalisation of the national programme on disengaged combatants, which includes the establishment of rehabilitation centres through the generation of funding streams and facilitating stronger links between AMISOM and the Federal Government. Particular attention is being paid to questions of a moratorium on the death penalty and a tailored amnesty.

Maritime security – In addition, UNSOM lends technical support to the implementation of the Somali Maritime Resource and Security Strategy (MRSS), which is anticipated to produce important revenue generation for the country on a scale that is unlikely to be achieved in any other area of economic development over the next five years. UNSOM also assists in coordinating international donor support to develop Somalia’s maritime domain. With a coastline that measures over 3,300 kilometres, the protection of Somalia’s natural resources and maritime environment is a key task for Somalia’s security forces. The major maritime challenges are: border control, fishery protection and licensing, prevention of toxic waste dumping and other maritime law enforcement requirements (trafficking, drug smuggling, arms smuggling and piracy). The advent of gas and oil exploration at sea also presents a significant requirement for security at sea.

Military – Military reform is undertaken through an important coordination mechanism, the Defence Working Group (DWG). The DWG is lead by Somali officials, facilitated by UNSOM, and supported by AMISOM and key donors and partners. The DWG has a sub-working group which assists with detailed reform. These working groups address areas of Defence Policy, Training, Human Resources, Stipends, Logistics, and Arms and Ammunition Management. The good offices of UNSOM are at the forefront of coordination of Somalia’s security sector reform effort and the mobilisation of resources to train, equip, advise and support the country’s military reform.


Corrections – One of the main challenges is a lack of capacity and accountability of state justice and corrections.

UNSOM is contributing to strengthening the Somali Custodial Corps’ capacity to develop, maintain and manage a viable, safe, secure and humane prison system as an integral part of sustainable, nationally-owned peace-building efforts and an important building block for preventing a relapse into conflict. UNSOM assists the Somali Custodial Corps to address prison gaps, overcrowding, infrastructure needs, and the water, food, health and sanitation requirements of prisoners. The Mission also assists in coordinating international donor support to provide uniforms for custodial corps officers.

It also provides a framework to maintain good order in prisons and exercise safe and humane control of prisoners. UNSOM will conduct prison awareness training for Somali Custodial Corps Officers to assist the authorities in the development and implementation of prison related policies and procedures.

Technical support is being provided to the Somali state to establish key justice institutions including the policy and drafting unit in the Ministry of Justice, Religion, Constitutional and Reconciliation Affairs and the Judicial Services Commission.

High-risk caseload – UNSOM’s Rule of Law and Security Institutions Group and UNDP are facilitating discussions on possible short-term solutions for handling serious and complex cases until the Federal government of Somalia’s Major Crimes Complex in Mogadishu is ready to do so, in 18-24 months. Key considerations include security for actors in the legal system in order to facilitate holding trials, capacity building, and monitoring of trials and conditions of detention pre- and post-trial.

Legal reform – UNSOM and UNDP are working together to assist the FGS to develop a strategy on legislative reform, including the criminal code and criminal code of procedure and the overall harmonisation of existing laws.


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