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European Commission plans minimum 60 million euros pledge to help boost security in Somalia

European Commission - IP/09/619   22/04/2009

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IP/09/619

Brussels, 22 April 2009

European Commission plans minimum 60 million euros pledge to help boost security in Somalia

The European Commission will pledge at least 60 million euros to support Somalia's security institutions and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) at the International Donor Conference on Somalia in Brussels tomorrow. The conference, which aims to assist Somalia's new government to establish increased security and stability across the country, is critical for tackling the root causes of piracy in the international waters off its coastline. It is clear that a durable solution at sea will only come through ensuring a durable solution on land. The European Commission with its European and other international partners is committed to continuing its engagement with Somalia, in particular through a comprehensive approach covering political, security and humanitarian aspects, in addition to the fight against piracy off the Somali coasts.

The conference, being hosted by the European Commission, will be co-chaired by the United Nations' Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the African Union Chairman Jean Ping in the presence of the President of Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel.

President Barroso said: "Recent acts of piracy are a wake-up call to the international community, but it would be wrong to limit the response to the military intervention. This is just another symptom of a deep and 17 year long decay of the State. Supporting Somalia's future security set-up is critical. The only real and viable solution is to help Somalia from within: by pooling international efforts and supporting the new Government to build security, peace and stability."

European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, said, "For almost two decades, Somalia has not been under the rule of law but ruled by the law of the jungle. Now, for the first time, Somalia has a credible government and the international community must support it. We need to improve security but also the political, social and economic situation to offer its people real hope for the future. The time to act is now and the international community must dig deep."

Background:

The Conference, organized by the European Commission (the main donor towards Somalia providing EUR 215.4 million between 2008-2013), is convened by the United Nations Secretary-General under the joint auspices of the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States and the United Nations, in line with the request of the United Nations Security Council resolution 1863(2009) of 16 January 2009.

Funding is required for key elements of the strategy set out by the Security Council in that resolution, and by the Secretary-General in his report of 9 March 2009[1] :

- support for the African Union peacekeeping mission Mission in Somalia (AMISOM, € 103 million for the next 12 months plus € 35 million expected to be given in kind - armoured vehicles, personal protective equipment and tent accommodation)

AMISOM currently consists of 4,300 troops (from Uganda and Burundi) but work is underway to try to ensure a full deployment of 8000 troops by January 2010. The UN will provide an initial logistic support package however AMISOM still requires salaries, military equipment, personal protective equipment and tents. Support is also needed to strengthen the AU’s financial accountability mechanisms and for civilian police, who will train the Somali police.

- support for the Somali security forces and for the civilian Somali Police Force established in respect of the Djibouti Agreement of August 2008 (€ 24 million for the next 12 months)

The Somali Government has expressed its commitment to building up its security institutions – a Joint Security Committee (JSC), a civilian Somali Police Force and a National Security Force. The JSC will act as the central coordination mechanism. The National Security Force in Mogadishu is expected to total 6,000 personnel and the Somali Police Force 10,000. Both will require basic assistance, stipends, training and development.

Participants to include:

Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President, Somalia,

Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General, United Nations

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission

Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, European Commission

Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Council of the European Union

H.E. Mr. Amr Moussa, Secretary-General, League of Arab States

H.E. Mr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu Secretary-General, Organization of Islamic Conference

Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security, African Union's Commission

Phillip Carter, Acting Assistant Secretary of State, United States

For more information on European Commission funding to Somalia: MEMO/09/175


[1] S/2009/132 accessible at: http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/sgrep09.htm


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