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Towards a better future for Somalia: EU gives new support to the African Union Mission

European Commission - IP/12/998   25/09/2012

Other available languages: FR DE LV

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 25 September 2012

Towards a better future for Somalia: EU gives new support to the African Union Mission

The EU has decided to provide additional support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which plays an essential role in securing the country on its path towards lasting peace, prosperity and stability. The renewed EU support, will allow AMISOM to continue to fulfil its mandate and to reach its total strength of 17,731, as authorised by the UN. EU support covers costs such as troop allowances, costs of the police and civilian component of the mission, medical care, housing, fuel, and communication equipment.

The EU's latest funding decision amounts to €82 million. It comes ahead of a High Level meeting on Somalia organised by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during the ongoing UN General Assembly in New York, which the High Representative and Vice President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton will attend.

Prior to the meeting Catherine Ashton said: "Somalia has opened a new chapter in its history with the recent election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the adoption of the provisional Constitution, the selection of the new Federal Parliament and election of its Speaker Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari. The EU will continue to contribute to stability and development in Somalia. Support to AMISOM is a key pillar of the EU's comprehensive approach to Somalia, essential in delivering the security needed to govern and bring development to the country. We have been supporting it from the beginning".

Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development added: "AMISOM has been playing a key role in creating the ground for a better future of Somalia, giving the people of the country hope and a perspective of peace. That is why AMISOM and our support to it is essential. It creates the basic conditions for the Somali people to live their lives in safety, pursue economic activities and rebuild their country. The EU is helping them in overcoming the many remaining challenges, for example by improving food security, strengthening the rule of law and creating better schools for children.

AMISOM is an African Union-led mission, mandated by the UN Security Council. The new funding brings the overall EU contribution to €411.4 million since 2007.

Background

AMISOM supports dialogue and reconciliation in Somalia and protects key infrastructure (e.g. government buildings and Mogadishu International Airport) to enable the new 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, 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 and other parts of the country. Current troop numbers have reached around 16,400. The EU also trains Somalia's national security forces through its Training Mission (EUTM Somalia) under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Through this mission, the EU aims to help develop Somalia's security sector to ultimately hand over security responsibility to Somalis. It is complemented by the CSDP military operation EUNAVFOR Atalanta which deters, prevents and represses acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. A new CSDP civilian mission, EUCAP Nestor will support land-based coastal police forces and the judiciary in Somalia.

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, political 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 €412 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). Since 2011, the EU has also allocated €126 million of humanitarian aid to Somalia to support the victims of drought, flooding, famine, conflict and displacement.

For further information

EU relations with Somalia:

http://eeas.europa.eu/somalia/index_en.htm

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Sebastien Brabant (+32 2 298 64 33)

Maja Kocijancic (+32 2 298 65 70)

Michael Mann (+32 2 299 97 80)

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Eamonn Prendergast (+32 2 299 88 51)

Catherine Ray (+32 2 296 99 21)

Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)


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