UN, Aid Groups to Return to Somalia After 17 years

A member of the Second United Nations Operation in Somalia surveys Mogadishu through a pair of binoculars from his post. Aid groups will return to Somalia after more than 17 years of absence from the country. Photo by: Milton Grant / UN

The United Nations, foreign missions and humanitarian groups will go back to Somalia after a 17-year absence. 

Nairobi, Kenya has been the base of most embassies, foreign charitable organizations and the U.N. itself because of security concerns in most of Somalia, particularly the capital, Mogadishu.

The move will take place within 60 days, Reuters reports. 

“We are going to transfer embassies and agencies based in Nairobi to Somalia, and our targets are three. First is Puntland, second is Somaliland and third is Mogadishu,” said Augustine Mahiga, U.N.’s top envoy to Somalia.

Mahiga noted that beefing up the African Union peace force in Somalia would improve security for the move.

The AU reinforced its presence in Somalia after 76 people were killed in Uganda last month. The group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the suicide attacks.

“Increasing the strength of AMISOM (AU troops) force from 6,200 to the overall of 8,100 will improve and enhance security to create space for the deployment of United Nations and the international community,” Mahiga said.

About the author

  • Chiden Balmes

    Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.