Gifting of equipment to the Somaliland Police

The Foreign Secretary William Hague has updated Parliament on the gifting of equipment to the Somaliland Police.

Foreign Secretary William Hague:

The UK is committed to developing counter terrorism capability in the Horn of Africa in furtherance of the Government’s counter terrorism objectives under CONTEST. As part of this approach, the UK assists key partner nations to develop effective and sustainable counter terrorism capabilities which operate in line with agreed international human rights standards. By helping countries to undertake counter terrorism activities locally, it targets the problem at source and reduces the risk of a terrorist attack against that nation or another.

The proposal in this case is to gift a UK-built headquarters and pre-trial detention facility, office furnishings, equipment and non-military vehicles to the Somaliland Police Force. The total cost of the proposed gift is £643,225, which will be met by the Government’s Counter Terrorism Programme.

The breakdown of the proposed gift is:

Build costs£387,909
Office furnishings and equipment£88,863
Vehicles and Vehicle Maintenance£85,064

Alongside the gift, the UK is providing a package of training and mentoring worth £710,000. The training aims to enhance the Somaliland Police Force’s ability to investigate terrorist threats, recover and examine evidence from crime scenes and build cases for prosecution. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will quality assure the custody officers’ training for the pre-trial detention centre.

The proposed gift is not subject to export controls and therefore there is no requirement to consider it against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. The proposed gift has been scrutinised and approved by a senior, cross-Whitehall Counter Terrorism Programme Approval Board, which has confirmed that it fits with HMG’s strategic and delivery objectives. FCO officials also assessed the project for human rights risks, using the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance guidelines announced by the Foreign Secretary in 2011.

The gifting Minute was laid before the House of Commons yesterday. If, during the period of fourteen Parliamentary sitting days beginning on the date on which the Minute was laid, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice of a Parliamentary Question or of a Motion in relation to the Minute, or by otherwise raising the matter in the House, final approval of the gift will be withheld pending an examination of the objection.


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