UNSOM – Puntland Security Sector Development

United Nations mandate in Somalia 01/01/2016 - 30/04/2016

ISSAT has been mandated by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM) to support its initial thinking and activities under their programme on Security Sector Development, and as such, contribute to the initiation of broader strategic thinking by the Puntland security and justice institutions on the direction of their security sector development process. This is intended to contribute to ensuring that UNSOM’s engagement to support the Puntland security and justice providers is in line with good practice and lessons learned.

ISSAT is requested to support UNSOM’s Rule of Law and Security Institutions Group (ROLSIG) implementation of this process through the provision of advisory personnel with experience and knowledge of ministerial, parliamentary and public oversight of security forces, facilitation, and strategic development, as well as good practice in supporting nationally-led processes. The support would contribute to reinforce UNSOM in its process of facilitating the clarification of roles and responsibilities within the Puntland’s security sector as well as support a process of strategic thinking on security sector development. 

ISSAT will initiate support its assistance to UNSOM by undertaking an initial field mission to further enhance the way in which the UN:

  • supports civil society to engage in SSR;
  • supports the MoS (Ministry of Security) to understand its role as a security ministry;
  • adopts a holistic approach to institutional development of the security and justice sector;
  • adopts a risk management approach, and considers unforeseen consequences; and
  • works coherently across the relevant UN agencies.


Subject to the evolving institutional and security situation in Puntland, the above will be achieved through a joint UNSOM/ISSAT team approach, undertaking the following activities:

  • working with the Putland Development Research Center (PDRC), a local NGO  building up capacity of the MoS Strategic Analysis Unit (SAU), to strengthen their role in the project;
  • working with the MoS to build their understanding of their role as a security ministry;
  • working with UNSOM and UNDP to identify risks of engagement.

A number of individual/organisation interviews are also foreseen. 


Planning: Training in civilian oversight of security sector, facilitate strategic development and review of Ministry of Security, Puntland

United Nations mandate in Somalia 01/12/2014 - 01/03/2015

NB - mandate closed without deployment due to operational reasons. See follow on ISSAT mandate for evolution of support. 

During the past year, the Puntland State of Somalia has taken steps towards the creation of an economically more manageable and sustainable security sector. An important element of this process has been the establishment by the President of Puntland of the ‘Committee on Counting and Reforming the Security Sector’, which currently is in the process counting Puntland's security forces (Darwish forces, police and custodial corps).  

The process of clarification/downsizing offers an opportunity to think through how broader security sector development may be taken forward. In this regard, the project seeks support from ISSAT with respect to two activities.

The first activity is in support of establishing an analysis cell within Puntland's Ministry of Security (MoS) to ensure a better and more coherent understanding of security developments across the territory of Puntland. This cell will have both an operational and a strategic purpose. It will provide more accurate analysis of security matters across Puntland’s territory, but it may also help to identify needs within the sector beyond downsizing. Specifically, ISSAT will be required to carry out an in-depth review of the MoS.

The other activity will directly support the initiation of broader strategic thinking on the direction of Puntland’s security sector development process. This will be done by holding two training workshop among relevant stakeholders. The first workshop will focus on training civilians managing and overseeing the security sector (specifically members of the security sub-committee in Puntland's parliament, Ministry of Security, Ministry of Justice, Committee on Counting and Reforming the Security Sector and members from Puntland's Office of the President). The second workshop will be a facilitated process of initiating long-term thinking within Puntland on what security sector development entails, linkages between different organisations within the security sector, why security sector development is important and how it can be taken forward in a resource-scarce environment. Specifically, this activity should also allow an initial discussion of needs within the different agencies. Workshop participants will include both civilian and uniformed elements of the security sector.