What are SPU ?
The Special Protection Unit is a specific police unit which was created to protect UN / NGOs international staff in Puntland and Somaliland. SPUs are equipped with fire weapons. It is to be noted that SPUs are only for international staff protection, not national.
It has to be remembered, that private escorts or armed guards, asused in South Central Somalia, are illegal in Somaliland and Puntland, unless special authorization is given.
SPU usage is mandatory for INGOS, unless specific negociations with relevant local authorities.
Two type of SPUs exist at the moment :
- Static SPUs, dedicated to compound protection of UN / NGOs facitilities
- Escort SPUs, dedicated to escort UN / NGOs during movements of international staff
How does it work ?
SPUs are commanded and managed by the SPU Commander, who allocates SPUs according to UN / INGOs requests. Usually between 2 to 4 SPUs are allocated for escorts and static duties. The SPU Commander is part of the police force of Puntand or Somaliland.
A letter of Agreement (LoA) describes the SPU system, and was signed between UNDP and respectively Puntand and Somaliland.
SPUs receive salaries. However, Escort SPUs are granted Daily Support Allowance (DSAs) to cover their inherent costs while on mission.
At the moment, Escort allowance rates are :
- 4 USD per day per escort SPUs when SPU does not spend overnight outside of its duty station
- 7 USD per day per escort SPUs when SPU spends overnight outside of its duty station
Please note that there are so far no SPU base in Galkacyo, and all escort SPUs in Galkacyo are considered spending overnight outside of their duty stations.
At the moment, NGOs do not pay DSAs for SPUs. UNDP, funded by donors, pays for it. UNDP is the fund manager of SPUs. NGOs using static SPUs have to provide them with shelter, praying space, tea and toilet / washing facilities.
Please check all the details in the offical SPU official User Guide (Revised): SPU User Guide Revised
The SPU system is not without its own challenges. Please contact NSP to be briefed more extensively.
How do I request SPUs ?
NSP is facilitating SPUs requests for NGOs in Puntland and Somaliland. The process is different for each place: