UK plans to deploy troops to support stability in Somalia and South Sudan


UK Prime Minister David Cameron is set to unveil plans for troop contribution to peacekeeping operations in Somalia and South Sudan at a UN event in New York, US.

Deployed as part of the UN support for the African Union force, UK soldiers will provide medical, logistical and engineering support, while helping the UN and African Union to end conflicts that are encouraging mass migration from South Sudan and facilitating the rise of terrorist groups in Somalia.

In particular, the soldiers would support the African Union force that is working to build stability in the country and counter the threat posed by the terrorist group Al-Shabab.

"It is absolutely vital that the international community works together to shore up stability in Africa."

Speaking ahead of the Peacekeeping Event, Cameron said: "As the world agrees ambitious goals to end extreme poverty, it is absolutely vital that the international community works together to shore up stability in Africa.

"Our commitment to peacekeeping operations will help to alleviate serious humanitarian and security issues in Somalia and South Sudan, helping to bring stability to the region and preventing these challenges from spreading further afield."

The UK also intends to offer additional troops to perform specific tasks in South Sudan such as undertaking vital engineering work to strengthen infrastructure and combat training and advisory support.

While precise numbers are yet to be agreed, the mission is likely to involve up to 70 personnel deploying to Somalia.

In South Sudan, the mission is expected to witness participation from between 250 and 300 troops over the course of multiple deployments.

The UK Government will now work with the UN to finalise these plans at the event, which will feature representations from more than 45 countries, with many expected to announce peacekeeping contributions.

Approximately two million people are displaced and millions others are facing food shortages since the start of conflict in December 2013.

To date, the UK is said to have allocated more than £260m to resolve the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.