Operation TANGHAM explained: Stopping the spread of extremism in Somalia

British Forces have been in Somalia since 2017, helping to reduce the waves of terrorism by training the security forces. Here are three things you need to know

Somalia’s vast stretches of coastline along the Horn of Africa are infamous for stories of piracy and illegal activity, but less known is the country’s internal struggle with a lingering insurgency borne from civil war and extremist influence.

When left unchecked, violence from these extremist groups such as Al-Shabaab could spill over into neighbouring countries and pose a significant threat to peace.

Since 2017 the UK Armed Forces have been playing an active role in reinstating security and stability in Somalia by building skills within the Somali National Army (SNA).

1. What is Operation TANGHAM?

Operation TANGHAM is the codename given to the UK Armed Forces’ efforts in tackling Islamic extremists in Somalia by helping the SNA restore security and stability in the region.

British Army personnel are currently deployed in Somalia to support three organisations: the United Nations (UN), the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and direct support to the Somali National Army (SNA).

There are currently more than 60 personnel from the UK Armed Forces in Somalia contributing towards this mission.

2. Why are the UK Armed Forces in Somalia?

The Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab (affiliates Al-Qaida) have been fighting a decades’-long insurgency against the Government and African Union troops.

There is a high threat from terrorist attacks in Somalia, as well as threats of kidnapping and dangerous levels of violent crime.

The UK Armed Forces aim to provide stability and security to the people of Somalia.

3. What training are we providing to the Somali National Army?

The British military has been training the Somalian Army since January 2017.

The training focuses on medical training, leadership development, intelligence, equipment care, engineering, logistics and human rights.

In a train-the-trainer environment, the British are enabling the Somalians to train their future soldiers with the skills they are learning.

The training at first is low-level infantry skills, with the aim to implement a “soldier first” policy, so that they understand and can act as a professional army and also have the skills and drills needed to command their troops on the ground.

Once this is instilled, the training progresses to leadership skills, running an operations room, combat engineering, intelligence and medical training. The United Nations will also deliver training on Human Rights and gender sexual violence.

There have been more than 500 British-trained recruits that have graduated in Somalia.

Find out where else the UK Armed Forces are deployed here:👇

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