Matt Baugh

Ambassador to Somalia

Part of UK in Somalia

5th April 2012 Nairobi, Kenya

We stand with those building a peaceful and better Somalia

Yesterday’s horrific bomb attack in Mogadishu has served as yet another reminder of Al Shabaab’s cruel and twisted ideology.

The day was meant to be one of celebration – marking the first anniversary of the launch of Somali National Television at the newly re-opened National Theatre. Yet it is to be remembered now for the tragic death of the President of the Somali Olympic Committee, Aden Yabarrow Wiish, the chief of the Somali Football Federation, Said Mohamed Nur, and several others. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those killed and injured.

As the British Prime Minister said in his statement yesterday, the action once again demonstrates Al Shabaab’s ‘complete disregard for the lives of the Somali people’. The sentiments in his statement have been echoed around the world – complete revulsion and utter condemnation for this cowardly and barbaric attack.

A month ago, world leaders came together at the London Conference to support the efforts of the Somali people and her leaders to forge a new path and build a new future for their country. What happened yesterday only strengthens our resolve to work together with our Somali partners to end over two decades of famine and bloodshed and the threats that the likes of Al Shabaab pose to Somali men, women and children.

I was in Mogadishu again yesterday – meeting with the Mayor of Mogadishu and officials from the TFG Prime Minister’s office – together with colleagues from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the UK Stabilisation Unit. We were discussing how we could continue to support the recovery of Mogadishu and its citizens and, in particular, the UK’s latest package of support – $2 million to support the rehabilitation of the city, announced last weekend during the visit of the UK Minister for Africa to Mogadishu.

What we heard yesterday was how Al Shabaab is continuing to lose the support of ordinary Somalis. What I’ve seen around the city is just how resolute the citizens of the city are to reclaim their capital from the extremists and warlords: to take part in Somalia’s rich culture of poetry and theatre and celebrate their sporting passions, such as football and basketball.

As David Cameron said yesterday, this is clearly a very difficult time for all those affected by yesterday’s attack, in particular the Somali Olympics team and the Somali Football Federation. We hope that in due course they will continue their work of uniting Somalia and once again show that, in the words of the Olympic Charter, sport can ‘contribute to building a peaceful and better world’. In London’s Olympic year, we stand with them.

Since the London Conference, we have been working hard on the agenda that the Conference set. We’re working with the Garowe Signatories to ensure that the selection of the Constituent Assembly is as representative of the Somali people as possible; we’re working with AMISOM and the TFG to ensure they get the resources they need to create greater safety and security; and we’re working with our international and Somali partners on supporting greater stabilisation across the country. I would like to know what you think about this agenda, a month on from London. Please either leave a comment below, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

32 comments on “We stand with those building a peaceful and better Somalia

  1. As a British-born Somali, I am proud of the UK for taking these measures to improve Somalia.

    A secure Somalia is a secure world.

    I have always yearned to see my motherland, and hope that the implementation of the permanent government will bring about concrete results.

    To all of the people battling between Somalia/Somaliland on the comments here, please look at yourselves and think again. It is my generation in the diaspora, born away from all this tribal disintegration, that does not care at all what tribe you are from. Yes, there have been atrocities committed in the past, but we are looking to the future now, to secure a stable Somalia.

    Perhaps it will only be when my generation of 20-something year old Somalis return to Somalia that there will be a change of mindset, and lasting peace.

    Ambassador, are you based mostly in Nairobi? Are there any opportunities for students like me to undergo internships/placements for Somali development, whether it be with the UN/British Government etc? A reply (to my email if you can, or here) will be invaluable!

  2. Mogadishu has been a hotspot for a long time.During Operation Desert Shield I was a U.S. Marine serving with Charlie Company 1st Battalion 2nd Marines.My unit was diverted from Opeartion Desert Shield and sent 1500 miles to rescue the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia.As the situation in Mogadishu begin to rapidly deteriorate there was a urgent need to get a rescue force on the ground in Mogadishu.On January 5 1991 at 0247am I was a member of a heavily armed 60 man rescue force combined of 51 U.S. Marines and 9 Navy Seals that were launched from the U.S.S. Guam in 2 Marine CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters in a attempt to reach the U.S. Embassy before it was to late.When the smoke cleared we rescued 281 citizens from the United States and over 30 diffrent nations.Former British Ambassador Ian McCluney and British nationals were rescued with the U.S. Rescue operation.I am trying to reunite those rescued and the rescuers.If you know anyone who was there during that civil war in Mogadishu January 1991 they post a comment on my website so the world can hear first hand this amazing story.If anyone knows former British Ambassador to Somalia Ian McCluney I would like to send him a copy of my book titled Night Mission To Mogadishu.

  3. Ambassador,
    Concerning your development programme in somalia, i have gone though the DFID page and i noted that 40 % of your development aid is chanelled to Somaliland.However there is no breakdown of specific projects and where these projects are situated.Kindly tell us where we can acess these particular, i wish to know whether you have any projects in the Dhulbahante Community areas of Sool,Sanaag and eastern Togdheer(Cayn),and if not,what is your rationale for not extending aid to these areas.Are you in touch with the local leadership of these areas,be it political,religious,traditional,busines,women or youth groups,and please tell us which ones,if any,are you in touch with .You have have cited provision of essential services such as water and health as one of your priorities.Do you have any such projects in Lasanod,the capital of Sool Region? Or in any of the many towns of Sool Region.Please tell us where we can acess such information.Do you have any personell in your projects that hail from the Sool region?Please let us know,so that we can know whether we have our boys and girls employed in your projects.
    Secondly,you have indicated a strong support for the security sector in Somaliland.What policy informs this decision.Does the security sector mean the Somaliland army and police which is dominated by the Isaaq Community or do you mean broader support for peace,security and good governance in all regions of Somaliland.
    Thirdly how do you hold Somaliland accountable for the misuse of the fireams and ammunition which you so genorously provide to them.Many people here,including myself,have documented how these arms are used to kill and maim people from the SSC regions,especially in Lasanod and Buuhoodle.
    Fourthly, i ask once again,have you ever met or engaged the leadership of Khaatumo regional State which is based in Taleh?If not,please enlighten me on the reasons.Is Khaatumo the elephant in the room?
    Should i expect a decent reply Or shall it be once again, THE BIG SILENT TREATMENT

  4. Yes we stand with those building building Somalia.

    As far as I know from reliable sources from TFG officials, that they got advice from Italian officials that italy wants to keep Somalia united under Mogadisho TFG government and have been given advice to sabotage to have dialogoeu with Somaliland which means any sitting with them means recognition, and gave the TFG that Britain wants Somaliland as independent state

    Therefore, they added two extra who out of TFG whom are from Somaliland in order to sabotage dialogue which Somaliland understood and scheduled to have meeting with TFG plus 2 another ministers and that what is happen!.

    That means failure of London Commonique point no.6

  5. My fear has always been, and still is, that the London Conference on Somalia is going to be another big joke. This was brought closer yesterday when the Somaliland fiefdom leaders withdrew from the talks with the TFG. Mr William Hague and Matt Baugh I say this to you: what’s your next best option? Surely, you can’t entertain the nitty gritty arguments of the Somali warlords, and the clock is ticking out fast – only 3 months to go to August 2012. The Somali people have been listening every day to the Somali services of the BBC and the Voice of America since 23 Feb, and they heard vast amounts of unpleasant news coverage on what the future holds for their country. However,they heard very little from you, the conferece organisers. Please say something!

  6. Kenadeed, the Isaaq group have run out of ideas, albeit they never had good ones. Twenty one years of lies and more lies ends this August as their backs are against the wall. Well done, Ken.

  7. Kenadeed, the Khaatumo Executive and the people of SSC commends your online work. The British government knows very well what’s happening in the Somali Republic – from Kismaayo to Sayla, and thank you for conveying the Khaatumo message loud and clear to the rest of the world.

  8. I am sorry for the recent tragedy in Somali National Theater. My deepest sympathy goes to the relatives and friends of the victims.Besides, I have quick questions for the Amb.Matt Baugh . Why the International Community are not willing to fund the building of our Somali National forces instead of AMISOM? do you think AMISOM could be a lasting solution for the Somali problem?

  9. I thought the issue was on Somalia but Somaliland is under the radar of the most of the commentators. I would advise Kenadeed and A M Farah to stop posing as Somalilanders. People from Somalia (the failed State ) think that British Government has no clue of what is happening in the Somali inhabited Horn of Africa! Don’t you know that the British Empire had long history with Somalis. As a confident proud Somalilander, I know that the ambasador Bough states “We’re working with the Garowe Signatories to ensure that the selection of the Constituent Assembly is as representative of the Somali people as possible; we’re working with AMISOM and the TFG to ensure they get the resources they need to create greater safety and security;..Since Somaliland has never been of the Garowe Signatories and is known for its tested political stability, has its own elected Constituent Assembly is as representative as well as democraticilly elected president that obtained the post through cross-party-peaceful-power-transfer. The Brithish observers witnessed its credibility, and freely fairness of the election process. It is like telling someone ” Batteries grow on trees!”. I am disgusted with your cheap syper war against Somaliland. Please help the world find solutions for you mess. Doesn’t ambassador’s lack of reply give you a sign?

    God pless Somaliland and help Somali leaders and people regain their long waited sanity.

    1. No one can twist or miss-interpret UK’s statements to suit their clannish wishes as the SNM Isaaqs continuously keep trying.

      Just read and try to understand the Ambassador’s statement in the title of his article we’re commenting on, and what it means, Ambassador Matt Baugh says, “We stand with those building a peaceful and better Somalia”. Thus, Khaatumo State of Somalia falls under this UK’s policy toward Somalia. Khaatumo is part and parcel of the TFG working together with the TFG and the international community,for the purpose of achieving and building a peaceful and better Somalia.

      Khaatumo State of Somalia, unlike the one clan secessionist Isaaq who continue attacking the neighboring Somali tribes, is preaching peace, good neighborly relations, respect, mutual understanding and co-existence, good governance, democratic process and rule of law for all Somalia, and neighborly co-operations in all fronts.

      The Isaaq clan headed by Siilaanyo spares no efforts to ensure this UK policy of building peaceful and better Somalia never materialize. The Isaaq clan is who opposes the peace in both southern and northern Somalia. The Isaaq clan leads the on going wars in both regions of the country(south and north). The Isaaqi Ahmed.Abdi Godane, Ibrahim Afghani, and many others of the Isaaq tribe are leading the AL Qaeda war against Somalis and the international community in southern Somalia. Siilaanyo and the other SNM Isaaqs are leading the other part of their war in the north of Somalia against the peaceful other non Isaaq clans.

      Both Isaaqi groups who are leading the two wars in the south and north of Somalia are closely coordinated. The war in the north and the south is just one war. The good news, finally, the international community is increasingly getting aware of the reality and how the secessionist one clan administration in Hargeysa is truly behind the operations of AL Qaeda in both north and south of Somalia.

      Khaatumo State of Somalia controls 97% of Khaatumo State of Somalia, the few percent remaining will be complete very soon.

      Let the die hard Isaaq secessionists keep their day dreaming, the lies and misleading efforts of their secessionist project have hit a dead end.

  10. Mr, Ambassador,

    The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Khaatumo State of Somalia has published a Press Release today April 13, 2012. The Press Release clarifies Khaatumo State of Somalia’s official position on the proposed talks of TFG and the one clan secessionist administration in Hargeysa.

    The following link will take you to the full text of the Press Release:

  11. Ambassador Matt Baugh,

    Here is a news article about Khaatumo people’s demonstration in Buhodle regarding Siilaanyo’s aggression on the region and the blockage of waterholes from the Khaatumo nomads. Siilaanyo and SNM’s move to block Khaatumo nomad’s from accessing their waterholes is a deliberate inciting of hostilities and intimidation.

    Here is the news:

    Khaatumo citizens demand rights back to their waterholes

    Recent attacks by the Hargaisa Militia on the residents of Sol-Jogto and Buhodle has caused tremendous loss of life and destruction of properties.

    The 1st. of April attacks by the Hargaisa Militia on the residents of Sool Joogto and Buhoodle has caused tremendous loss of life and destruction of properties including the most important commodity in these arid Khaatumo lands; Water. The denial of the rural folks and their animals t) o have access to drinking water has shocked the community. in the attached Video (, these Women are crying for help from the international community to assist them. Similar concerns are also being sent to the Transitional Federal Government of which the Khaatumo State of Somalia is a fully fledged recognized member.
    The Hargaisa Militias are ruthless in their efforts to engage in ethnic cleansing and suppressing the basic human rights of the traditional residents of the Cayn Region whose only fault is to bear the Unionist Blue flag of the TFG; a move opposed by the secessionist Hargaisa Militias who claim to be a separate Somali country that calls its self “Somaliland”.
    Khaatumo State of Somalia is supported by 99% of the Sool Sanaag and Cayn (SSC) regions which always stands for the Unity and cooperation with a Central Somali Government as is currently headed by the internationally recognized TFG. However, the International media has been quite absent in giving voice to these voiceless Khaatumo women. Under the leadership of Silaanyo, the criminals behind these atrocities have to be stopped before its too late. The world has seen the consequences of a slow response to the Ruwandan Genocide and must make sure that it is not repeated again in North-Eastern Somalia.



  12. Dear Ambassador,

    The Khaatumo Population in Buhodle Somalia have demonstrated in Buhodle on April 9, 2012. They demonstrated to denounce the continuous aggression of the SNM militia on their people and land. The Khaatumo people appealed to the TFG, which they are part of, the United Nations, and the international community to intervene in the escalating dangerous situation in the Khaatumo State of Somalia and stop the aggression, attacks, massacre, displacements, and end Siilaanyo’s SNM blockage on Buhodle’s and environs water points, where Siilaanyo’s militia is blocking the khaatumo nomads in the area to access their water wells and water reservoirs.

    Khaatumo population in Buhodle have declared that the demonstrations will continue for the next ten days until the SNM militia evacuates the area and sent back to their tribal territories. The people are appealing to the international community to stop the Isaaq tribe’s aggression on the Khaatumo State of Somalia.

    UK being a member of the UN’s security council could play a crucial role in reversing the deteriorating security situation in this region of Somalia. UK can also use its leverage on the secessionist clan of Hargeysa who believe they are dependent on UK’s aid to convince them to stop the aggression and suicidal wars on Khaatumo State of Somalia.

    Here is the link to the youtube video:

  13. Dear Mr Baugh

    I closely follow UK’s policies towards Somalia. The recent UK’s efforts to stir international support for the blight of Somalia and Somali people makes me feel proud of UK and enthusiastic about the future relationship between Somalia and the UK.

    As far as I know UK did not grant the guardianship of the Northern regions of Somalia to any particular tribe when they gained their independence from the British colony . All the tribes that inhabit in these regions should have the right to decide their destiny.

    Despite many well documented atrocities and ethnic cleansing I did not hear any efforts or attempts from UK government to stop the aggression and the daily atrocities inflicted by Isaq clan against other less powerful tribes specially Dhulbahante tripe.

    Doesn’t UK support democracy and fight tyranny? Isn’t it time to say to Isaq tribe enough is enough? It remains to be seen what UK does with regard to is matter.

  14. My advice to Matt Baugh: Immediate instructions should be circulated within the Somali speaking television services asking them not to carry Al Shabaab statements on their broadcasts.
    Abdul Ghelleh

  15. I have a question and a point to make, Mr Matt Baugh: Have you made plans for your relocation to Mogadishu yet? And, have you taken steps to help prevent the easily preventables, like the theatre bombing? My point: A media campaign and random house searches should be launched so that those hiding small firearms and IEDs are easily exposed and eliminated from Mogadishu and elsewhare. The Somali radio and TV services should carry this immediately: Hand over your weapons or we will come and search your house.
    Abdul Ghelleh

  16. Hello Mr Matt,

    Very pleased to hear u some words like that, after that the solution of somalia in my view is dependent on the recognition of Somaliland.

    Supporting Somaliland gov’t against terrorist will further help to stabilize the pre-longed civil war in which somalia is still underway. These terrorist including; Alshabab, Alqaida, Piracy land or puntland and lastly those who call themselves as Khaatumo, that are starting a war against Somaliland’s stability and dis boiling the peace and prosperity in which Somaliland is willing.

  17. SomaliLand and their Leader Siilaanyo is killing everday people who are not in the same tribal like Khaatumo state of somalia.
    They should be treat like Al-shabab and bring them to justices.

  18. Hello Ambassador Matt Baugh,

    We admire your/your UK government’s day to day involvement with Somalia’s issues. More importantly, the efforts your government is putting toward and helping to change the status quo (conflict, lawlessness, piracy, division, separatism, terrorism, lack of strong unionist and inclusive government) in Somalia.

    It’s sad to see another deadly terrorist attack happen in Somalia that so many innocent people lost their lives and many more injured. The goal of the minority terrorist group who carried out the attack is to shatter the hopes and aspirations of the majority of Somalis and the residents of the capital who want a better Somalia. However, the most disappointing for the terrorist group, Somalis are more determined to unite and move forward the stabilization of Somalia.

    On the other hand, one wonders about what appears as a double standard when dealing with terrorists and their activities – it seems some are acceptable and some are not. The terrorist attacks carried out in the south of Somalia by Al Shabaab led by the Somaliland secessionists Ahmed Abdi Godane and Ibrahim Al Afghani are completely unacceptable by UK and the international community. While the terrorist attacks carried out in the north of Somalia by the same group, secessionist one clan Somaliland group, led by Siilaanyo are completely acceptable by the UK and international community!!!

    The on going terrorist attacks, atrocities, killings, injuries, displacements (IDPs), and tortures done by the secessionist one clan administration in Hargeysa to the Khaatumo State of Somalia population is not only over looked and ignored, but UK and the international community supports this secessionist one clan with funds and assistance that encouraged them to double, triple, and quadruple their terrorist attacks on the innocent Khaatumo people.

    The damage of the terrorist attack on the National Theater in Mogadishu would be minor when compared what the one clan secessionist terrorists led by Siilaanyo are doing in Buhodle and Lasanod on a daily basis!!!

    Mr. Ambassador, what is the difference? Which terrorist attack is far greater than the other in terms of the damage it causes – a suicide bomb once a while here and there, or a systematic mobilization of tribal militia by Siilaanyo arming them with with all possible weaponry and putting them on the march to cause havoc, killings, massacre, and displacement on the Khatumo population?

    UK is providing assistance to the one clan secessionist group in Somalia, and it has a moral and humanitarian obligation to respond, because of its direct involvement with the conflict in the north of Somalia.

    Thank you,

  19. Dear all,

    I am very pleased to read Matt’s words which are filled with positive approach to a rather complex Somali situation. In a conflict where for the past 2 decades the most players (internal and external) were negatively impacting the situation, British approach seems to be potentially moving the things to a more positive direction – at least that is what I sincerely hope.

    ‘To ensure the Constituent Assembly is as representative of the Somali people as possible’ would be a daunting task. Especially a country where the social fabric totally collapsed, it won’t be easy to get a criterion with which to appease all grievances. So my question is, what are the instruments the British are using to ensure as representative as possible?


  20. The only way to further advance the objectives of the London Conference on Somalia is to empower those Somalis who tirelessly fight against the spoilers of peace by given them the necessary equipment to do their job. Arming and giving other military equipments to the Kenyans and Ethiopians will be counter productive as those government had strategic interests in sustaining the status quo.

  21. Hi Mr Baugh. I admire your efforts in trying to create a better Somalia. I just believe this is one country that has had more than enough share of suffering.

    I would like to ask you one or two questions though regarding the future of Somalia. These questions are for an article that I am writing for the Activate newspaper at Rhodes university in South Africa.

    The first question is: why is the Somalian security weak in preventing suicide bombs like the recent one and what could the govermnent do to streghten its security so that civilians could be safe?

    What could be a political solution in saving Somalia? Perhaps, the upcoming elections could bring a better change? What are your thoughts here, Mr Baugh?

    Please email me the answers, Mr Baugh before tuesday, the 10th of April. I will appreciate it. Thank you so much.

    Yours sincerely,

  22. Hi I am a student at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore MD, and on 4/11 the African Public Health Network is hosting a panel discussion on the health and human rights implications of the famine and war in Somalia in the global context of climate change and food insecurity. I hope this isn’t perceived as SPAM, as the discussion is relevant to this post. Follow our group on Twitter (@ReACHFOA2012) if you have any questions–we are monitoring the account. Thanks.

    Join in the discussion that will be live streamed from Feinstone Hall at JHSPH in Baltimore, MD starting at:

    4:00pm EST on Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    The live stream link can be accessed at:

    You can also follow along on Twitter and submit questions to the panelists via Twitter using the hashtag #REACHFOA2012.

    Expert Panelists

    The panel discussion will feature a host of experts that will highlight the food, social, and human rights crisis in Somalia and will be moderated by Dr. Robert S. Lawrence, Director of the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins. Panelists include:

    Alexander Vu, Director of International Emergency and Public Health Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University
    Steve Hansch, US Liaison at DARA International, Adjunct Professor at George Washington University
    Sirad Shirdon, Save Somali Women and Children
    Andrea Wirtz, Research Associate, Center for Public Health and Human Rights
    Sadia Aden, Writer and Human Rights Advocate

  23. We must not let this tragic event derail the progress that is being made in Somalia. The reopening of the National Theatre is symbolic of the real change that is happening in Somalia: the city is being rebuilt, culture is being revived and hope is being restored.Somalia’s future cannot be held hostage to a violent minority who resort to cowardly terrorist acts that target their fellow citizens.

    Mr. Ambassador can you please let me know what development projects you are working in central Somalia(Galmudug & Heem and Heeb) if there any. Thank you so much for all the wok you are doing for my beloved nation of Somalia

    Abdi Nasir Sahel

  24. My deepest sympathy goes to the relatives and friends of yesterday’s barbaric and cruel act at Somali’s National Theatre by Shabaab.

    Secondly I fully appreciate and support the courageous steps taken by British Government towards the unity and territorial integrity of Somalia. The endeavours to stabilise Somalia spread-headed by British Government will be remembered by the future generations of Somalis.

    Garowe 1 and 2 have marginalised large parts of Somalia including Lower and Upper Jubba Regions, Central Regions, Banadir and Khaatumo State of Somalia. Puntland and Galmudug only represent their respective subclans. They don’t have the right to select delegates from regions where their authority is not recognised.
    There should be a mechanism to nominate an independent selection committee to select Constituent Assembly as a representative of the Somali people not by the signatories and their political allies.

  25. I may not be a somali citizen, but having lived and worked in Somalia(Puntland), I appreciate the huge task ahead in helping stabilize Somalia, and set up more efficient and effective governing structures for the people of Somalia. Such efforts from the international community, partners and stakeholders of peace in Somalia, are nothing less of great interventions. I am positive that Somalia is in it’s way to achieving better governing structures that will further help manage Somalia’s well endowed natural and human resource in creating a vibrant and robust economy. This process can only be steered by the Somali people,with support from wellwishers. U.K has indeed shown it’s generosity to seeing a better Somalia for Somali people. A true signature to global citizenship!

  26. Hai!
    Yesterday my uncle is died. i still feel so sad. I hope same change is caming . thank u all support we need.

  27. We are very saddened by the tragedy news in Mogadishu and we share the sorrow with our brothers and sister who lost their beloved parents, siblings, colleagues and coworkers in the explosion. Secondly, I would like to express my sincere of gratitude to the UK government for their tireless effort to assist for Somali community in UK and in Somalia. I hope that the London conference was historical and was valuable for Somalis. I would encourage the UK government to strictly follow up the implementation of the LDN Conference outcomes, also the UK government should not consider only the proposals from Garowe signatories since the signatories are not represent whole Somali sides, (I know that Somali people usually complains from each other, but actually what I mean here is that the road map, Garowe 1 and 2 was accused to be biased by many Somali people), for one thing, Some of the Garowe signatories misunderstood their signatory roles in the transitional period, for instance recently the Puntland president said in the media that the federal government is not responsible for the recognition and the support of the establishment of new states for the regions without states (other than Puntland, Galmudug, and Somaliland) but should consult with Puntland, he also emphasized that the federal government is not responsible to talk to Somaliland unless Puntland leads such dialogues. Therefore, such behaviors or misunderstand my paralyze the effort of the TFG and the progress of the road map to move forward
    To this end, all Somali stakeholders should involve the future state building of their country, and the UK government should make should equal participation.

  28. Building a stable, progressive Somalia will be a major step toward addressing the problem of Somali piracy. But just as important, the Somali people deserve stability and progress. Our prayers for the success of the collective effort toward this goal.

Comments are closed.

About Matt Baugh

Matt is married to Caroline, a GP from South London specialising in pre-hospital care and tropical medicine. They have 3 small children. Matt has been working on Somalia since May…

Matt is married to Caroline, a GP from South London
specialising in pre-hospital care and tropical medicine. They have 3
small children. Matt has been working on Somalia since May 2010, when he was appointed the UK’s Senior Representative and Head of the UK’s
Somalia Office. On 2 February 2012 he was accredited as the first
British Ambassador to Somalia for 21 years. Since taking up his Somalia
appointment, he has been able to travel to Mogadishu, Hargeisa and
Garowe, and has been deeply touched by the warmth of the welcome he has received, but also the scale of the challenges that Somali people face
every day.
Matt is a career civil servant and is currently on secondment to the
Foreign Office from the UK Department for International Development. Now 37, he has spent much of his career to date dealing with conflict,
security and humanitarian issues. Since 1999 he has worked in Iraq,
Sudan, Afghanistan and the Balkans, as well as a number of major relief
operations and protracted emergencies. He also helped to set up and lead
the UK’s Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit, now the UK Stabilisation
Unit. Matt is a graduate of the UK Joint Services Command and Staff
College’s Higher Command and Staff Course (2010) and was previously
Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for International
Development (2008-9).
Away from work, Matt is an avid England rugby fan (although he
refuses to admit his own playing days are long over). He is also a keen
mountaineer and skier and, together with Caroline, was part of a team
that raced to the Magnetic North Pole in 2005. These days he is more
likely to be found teaching his children how to swim and build