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

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

Adam Bergman

Adviser to the UN in Nigeria

Read more about Adam

Johan Chytraeus

Monitoring officer in Ukraine

Read more about Johan

MORE FROM HOME

FBA at the Almedalen Week 2018

During this year’s Almedalen Week in Visby, Sweden, the FBA will organize a series of seminars in the area of peace, security and development.

2018-06-19 17:44

Read our publications

Image description

Una perspectiva de género en la construcción de la paz

This training manual has been developed to provide an introduction in Spanish to the policy framework on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) and its follow-up resolutions on women, peace and security.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
Gabriela Elroy
Year:
2018

IN THE FIELD

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Ludmila Ceban

    Conflict resources and the rule of law

    Over 40 per cent of all intrastate conflicts have a link to natural resources and, while it is not new evidence as such, less than a quarter of peace negotiations actually aim to resolve conflicts by addressing resource management mechanisms. By the same token, links to natural resources are rarely included in the design of peacekeeping operations or even conflict analysis to start with.

    The risks for relapse are furthermore twice as high for conflicts associated with ... Read entire post »

    2018-05-18 14:04
  • Posted by Ben Rhee

    Challenges Forum: A platform for improving peace operations

    Recently I joined the team at the International Secretariat of the Challenges Forum, or to give its full name: The International Forum for the Challenges of Peace Operations. Challenges Forum, CF for short, is a global partnership of 49 leading organizations and departments working on peace operations, representing 22 countries from across all regions of the global North and South.

    Established in 1996, the aim of CF is to improve peace operations by identifying the critical challenges ... Read entire post »

    2018-05-03 09:11
  • Posted by Markus Derblom

    Time for the Vikings to set sail again

    In just about a week, the Viking-18 exercise will start. In rough figures, around 3000 people (out of which some 300 are civilians), of 60+ nationalities, will meet across nine international sites to do a multinational, joint and civil-military exercise. It is the grand finale of almost two years of hard work by a dedicated group of individuals from many nations and organizations, including FBA, which has the role of facilitating and coordinating the civilian strands ... Read entire post »

    2018-04-10 14:25
Photo

Stefan Åström

Stefan Åström is expert on Latin America and disarmament of ex-combatants

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Twitter