Green light for EU training mission to Somalia

Green light for EU training mission to Somalia

Following a Council Decision adopted in February 2010, the EUTM Somalia military training mission in support of the Somali security forces and in cooperation with the African Union was launched in April 2010, with the aim of providing military training to strengthen the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) as a functioning government serving the Somali citizens.

The European Union Training Mission to Somalia (EUTM Somalia), in close cooperation and coordination with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), was given the green light on 7 April 2010 to set in motion the deployment of forces under the leadership of Colonel Ricardo Gonzalez Elul, EU Mission Commander and EU Force Commander for the operation.

Initially the mission was launched in support of UN Resolution 1872, adopted in 2009 by the United Nations Security Council, and is being conducted within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the EU.

Raison d'être

The objective of EUTM Somalia is to contribute to and support the development of a functioning security infrastructure in Somali by strengthening the Somali Security Forces.

Aspects of this specific military training include:

  • involvement of 141 EU military personnel;
  • capacity for up to 2 000 Somali recruits over a one year period;
  • specialised training for officers and non-commissioned officers;
  • EU military training carried out at Camp Bihanga, near Kampala in Uganda.

The EUTM Somalia marks the natural progression from the earlier Council agreement on 25 January 2010 to set up a military mission to provide training and in general contribute to strengthening the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG).

Practical issues

The military mission has an operational budget of €4.8m and this comprehensive EU engagement can be seen as a response to the priority needs of the Somali people for stabilisation of the country. Current EU engagement is also linked to the June 2008 Djibouti Peace Agreement, which resulted in the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops protecting the TFG, and an agreement to support the African Union stabilisation force.

The EUTM Somalia is an excellent example of EU-AU cooperation, further cemented when the EU Military Committee (EUMC) held a series of away days at the beginning of October 2010 in Uganda and Ethiopia.  The visit provided an opportunity for the EU to discuss the security situation in Somalia with African Union, and Somali and Ugandan high level representatives, and to exchange ideas on their respective contributions to a long lasting solution for Somalia.