Folke Bernadotte Academy – Swedish agency for peace, security and development

Akiko Ahl

Stabilization and coordination officer in Somalia

After decades of civil war, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) was established in 2013. Among its mandated functions is to support the Federal Government of Somalia in the areas of peace- and state-building.

Akiko Ahl is on deployment from the FBA to the UNSOM Headquarters in Mogadishu, where she works as stabilization and coordination officer.

Akiko, how would you describe a regular day at work?

– I work within the stabilization team of UNSOM. We support the Somali Federal Government’s work to establish local administration in all parts of Somalia. It is especially important in areas formerly controlled by the terror group al-Shabaab, now overtaken by the government. I also work on supporting a better coordination of international donor support for stabilization activities in Somalia. I conduct field trips to various parts of the country in order to assess the needs of the people, then I pass the information on to the federal government and to the international donors financing different projects.

How does the high-risk environment impact your work?

– The security situation only permits travelling in convoys. The lack of security also impacts how I and my colleagues live. We stay at the UN camp next to the airport in Mogadishu, we are not based in the city. We have our own rooms, next to our offices. We are confined to a very restricted space. It is of course a challenging environment, and contact between international representatives and our Somali counterparts becomes limited.

What did you do prior to your deployment to UNSOM?

– As a trained fire protection engineer, I used to work for the Swedish fire and rescue services. I´m also an officer within the Swedish Armed Forces and have been seconded to Afghanistan. Furthermore, I´ve trained the Somali army in Uganda within the realm of an EU training mission and I´ve previously  been seconded by the FBA as political adviser in Afghanistan.

What do you want to do in the future and how do you view the future of Somalia?

– I hope to able to continue working with Somalia. There is so much left to do. The international community has to oversee the way the substantial resources allocated to Somalia are being used. We in the international community, together with the Somali government, have a joint responsibility to make sure that the resources are being used to rebuild the country. The goal is for the government to be able to meet the basic needs of the people, such as security, rule of law, healthcare, education, economic growth and employment.

Photo: UN Photo/Tobin Jones, UN Photo/Milton Grant

Learn more about our impact in the field

Björn Tedeman

Election observer

Read more about Björn

Sofia Zitouni

Political adviser in Palestine

Read more about Sofia

Gabriel von Horn

Head of operations in Georgia

Read more about Gabriel

Karolina Riedel

Statistician in election observation missions

Read more about Karolina

Mimmi Milligan

Reintegration adviser in Geneva

Read more about Mimmi

Tomas Sevén

Patrol hub leader in Ukraine

Read more about Tomas

MORE FROM HOME

Strengthening Africa’s regional forces for peace

Millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa are displaced due to war. FBA is now establishing long-term collaborative relationships with various regional organizations in order to contribute to a peaceful development on the continent. At the forefront is the cooperation with ECOWAS, a community of 15 countries in West Africa, to which FBA offers training for key personnel.

2017-11-10 13:23

Read our publications

Image description

Responsive and Responsible: Politically Smart Rule of Law Reform in Conflict and Fragile States

There is a long-standing recognition that rule of law is an essential element in achieving sustainable peace and development. In recent years it has gained even more prominence in policy discourse and as a core ingredient of broad-based international commitments, with the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular Goal 16 as a clear indicator for where we are headed. Yet, what has been lacking in rule of law reform, or at least it has been only marginally represented, is a political approach to address the underlying causes of problems and obstacles to rule of law.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
Richard Sannerholm, Shane Quinn and Andrea Rabus
Year:
2016

IN THE FIELD

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Sabrina Karim

    Liberia after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

    On November 8 2005, Liberians elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to be the first female president of an African country. She made history that day and she oversaw fourteen years of peace in a country that had experienced two decades of devastating armed conflict. In 2011, she was re-elected and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Her fame and legacy has brought widespread international attention onto Liberia.

    On October 10, 2017, Liberians will go to the polls for the ... Read entire post »

    2017-10-06 15:28
  • Posted by Maja Jakobsson

    Strengthening forces for peace through experience-sharing

    The security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated as of late, with the highest number of conflict-related civilian casualties in 2016 since 2009. The efforts for a formal and sustainable peace process are insufficient and face numerous obstacles. Violent battles between government and Taliban forces have resulted in new districts falling under Taliban power. Attacks by other groups, loyal to the Islamic State, are increasing in numbers.

    Despite this, there are still strong forces for peace in Afghanistan. ... Read entire post »

    2017-09-21 16:18
  • Posted by Ludmila Ceban

    Technical problems, political fixes: assessing rule of law in local governance in Ukraine

    I take public sector reform challenges in the post-Soviet space quite personally, with many first-hand Kafkaesque experiences from growing up in the ‘east’. So when the opportunity came about to work for the FBA on improving service delivery from a rights-based perspective in Ukraine, I struggled to think of alternatives to the complicated procedures people often have to go through when dealing with public authorities. It made me wonder whether the system can ever truly change.

    One ... Read entire post »

    2017-09-12 12:48
Photo

Gabriela Elroy

Gabriela is expert on women, peace and security

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Twitter