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Ministry of Defence: East Africa

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 170555, tabled on 17 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Integrated Review, by what method his Department will be active in East Africa.

Answered on

22 March 2021

The Integrated Review has emphasised that Africa’s long-term success matters to the UK, it is in all our interests to support a strong, prosperous and peaceful Africa. The Ministry of Defence will be working closely with partners across Government to achieve the objectives set out in the Integrated Review.

In East Africa specifically Ministry of Defence activity will primarily be focused on two key areas:

We will work closely with Kenya, our key partner in the region, to ensure that we are able to tackle collective threats such as violent extremism and terrorism, promote regional stability and collaborate on peace support operations. Our relationship will evolve in all domains, developing plans for joint training and readiness and collective institutional development. We will develop an increased military presence to counter shared threats. Through our British Peace Support Team based in Nairobi we will build the capacity of partner nations committed to UN and Africa Union peace support operations.

The Ministry of Defence will also actively contribute to action against Al Shabab, the terrorist group that poses the most direct threat to UK interests. We will work across government, with regional partners and key allies to weaken and constrain the group while supporting international community to help Somalia develop ways to provide their own security. We are providing training and advisers to the Somali National Army and liaison officers to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the UN missions. In parallel, we are increasing training for countries contributing to AMISOM.

We will continue to contribute to maritime security in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean by capacity building with keys partners. We will provide support through coordination centres in Kenya, Madagascar and Seychelles. We will conduct maritime security patrols off the Horn of Africa, including that of the Carrier Strike Group later this year.

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