On 21 February 2012, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, announced that the EU stands ready to provide additional support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), following a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali. The announcement comes ahead of an international conference on the future of Somalia that will take place on 23 February in London and is subject to UN Security Council endorsement of a strengthened AMISOM. The High Representative and Vice President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton and EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will be in London to reaffirm that stabilising and developing Somalia, together with the African Union and international partners, is an EU priority. The new commitment will contribute to the proposed increase in troop strength active in the African Union-led Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). EU aid covers costs such as troop allowances, medical care, housing, fuel, and communication equipment.
President Barroso stated: "Today, we understand there is a need for an increased number of troops to help secure the country. Ahead of the London Conference, I am happy to say that the EU stands ready to mobilise additional resources to enable an increase in the number of troops, pending a decision of the UN Security Council. Our effort will be substantial but will only cover part of the increased needs so I call on other donors and the international community to step up their assistance."
President Barroso and the Prime Minister discussed the importance of political changes in Somalia, including such issues as institutional reform and the adoption of a draft federal constitution. As the security situation improves beyond Mogadishu into other regions, local administrations need to be set up in order to provide basic services and establish the rule of law. These should be linked to the central government of a future federal Somalia.
Today's meeting comes ahead of the international conference on Somalia that will take place on 23 February in London. The event will bring together members of the international community and Somali leaders to agree on cooperation in the key areas of the political process, security, and support to local stability. The event will help to relaunch the political process in Somalia and coordinate international support for the country.
Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali also met with EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, Kristalina Georgieva.
AMISOM is an African Union-led mission, mandated by the United Nations Security Council. The EU has supported it continuously since its launch in 2007. With today's announcement the EU intends to secure additional funding to support the proposed increase in AMISOM mandated troop strength from the current authorised 12.000 to 17.731 (awaiting endorsement by the UN Security Council). This new funding builds on the continued support that the EU has given to AMISOM since its launch in 2007. Up to date EU support to AMISOM has amounted to €325.4 million, including an amount of €67 million to be soon decided by the European Commission in support of AMISOM for the period February-July 2012.
The mission supports dialogue and reconciliation and provides protection to key infrastructure (e.g. government buildings and Mogadishu International Airport) to enable the Transitional Federal Institutions to carry out their functions. It also assists in the implementation of the National Security and Stabilisation plan, providing support to disarmament and stabilisation efforts, as well as facilitating humanitarian operations, including the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons.
Over the past few months, substantial progress has been achieved, as AMISOM and the forces of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) have regained control of most of the capital of Mogadishu. Current troop numbers have reached more than 9,800. The renewed EU support will allow AMISOM to continue to fulfil its mandate. The EU also trains Somalia's national security forces through its Training Mission (EUTM Somalia) under the Common Security and Defence Policy. This mission, together with a lasting political settlement, is part of AMISOM's exit strategy in the long term.
Since the deployment of AMISOM, the EU has been one of the main funders of the operation, both through the African Peace Facility (APF), which is the EU's main instrument to support Peace and Security in Africa, and through bilateral contributions of its Member States. The APF's financial support to AMISOM is an integral part of the EU's comprehensive and long-term approach to support security and development efforts in Somalia. This approach contains political, diplomatic, civilian, military, humanitarian, and development dimensions.
EU aid to Somalia
For the period 2008-2013, the EU is allocating approximately €415 million to development projects in Somalia:
- Governance (including support to institution building, reconciliation, rule of law, human rights and support to Somali civil society);
- Education and the social sector (including primary and secondary education, adult literacy and teacher and vocational training). Funding also goes to improving access to safe water in urban and rural areas.
- Economic development, including support to the livestock and agriculture sector and to improve food security; mainly through the distribution of seeds and fertilisers, as well as cash transfer systems
This is complemented by EU funded projects on maritime security, water resources management and de-mining in the liberated areas (€102 million).
The European Office for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) allocated €77 million in 2011 to Somalia to support the victims of drought, flooding, famine, conflict and displacement. A first tranche of €40 million has been committed for 2012.
- Website of President José Manuel Barroso
- Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs
- Website of EuropeAid
- EU relations with Somalia
- Website of European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva
- Website of the European Office for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection