The UK, Germany and EU have resumed support to the South West state police following a suspension late December amid deadly clashes which killed about ten civilians, the new UK ambassador to Somalia Ben Fender has said.
In an exclusive interview with Goobjoog News, ambassador Fender said the issues surrounding the suspension of the police support programme had now been ironed out but warned the funds must be ‘spent appropriately’.
“So we’ve resumed stipend payments in South West. Here is to support the security forces to bring order and stability. Which means that we are very happy to support the developments of the police here. But what we don’t want to do is to support people who will contribute to Somalia’s problems if they are corrupt or they’re extorting money or if they’re using force inappropriately,” said Fender.
In a joint letter addressed to the Ministry of Interior December 21, 2018, the EU, Germany and the United Kingdom said they were suspending the Joint Police Programme for South West police following reports of police participation in the violence that rocked Baidoa in the lead up to the December 19 state presidential elections.
“Given the nature of these concerns, it is with regret we have taken the difficult decision to suspend our support to the police in South West for the time being and have instructed UNOP, as JPP fund manager, accordingly,” the letter read in part.
The suspended funding covered police stipends, funds for recruitment, vetting and training additional 400 South West police forces.
On the expulsion of the former UN chief in the country Nicholas Haysom, ambassador Fender said his country regretted the move by the Somali government but noted it was the prerogative of the UN Secretary-General to appoint a new replace and ‘We hope that he will appoint somebody else soon’.
“So we regretted the decision to expel the last special representative of the Secretary-General.” However, Fender said.