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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 7 May 2013

Somalia Conference: New EU support for governance, justice and police

Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, today announced that the European Union will further support the justice system and police force in Somalia with €44 million. The pledge was made during the Somalia conference in London, which aims to provide support for the Government of Somalia as they rebuild their country after two decades of conflict.

The EU has been a long-time partner to Somalia, with more than 1.2 billion euro provided since 2008 to support the Somali people basic needs and improve the security of the country.

Security goes hand in hand with justice and the rule of law. A credible justice system will be crucial to establishing a safer environment, rebuilding the trust of the people in the state and reconciling the nation. Equal and fair access to justice and an independent judiciary system are a pre-requisite for a viable state.

These €44 million will be used for the strengthening of governance, including the police and justice. Half of the amount will be for security sector reform, to train and equip police officers, judiciary and custodial corps, among others.

"In Somalia, like anywhere else, there can be no development without security. Over the last year, we have seen some encouraging advances. Larger territories are under the authority of the Federal Government, displaced people are able to go back home. Our new support demonstrates the EU's continues to be the first partner of Somalia's return to stability, security and prosperity", said Commissioner Piebalgs.

"We are granting this new assistance to show once again the EU’s commitment to helping the Somali people to support good governance, security, justice and the police. While the situation in Somalia has improved considerably, great challenges remain. We will continue to work with the Somali Government on the reconstruction of the state, which must be a Somali-owned and Somali-led process", said High Representative Catherine Ashton.

Though security is vital, it is just part of the picture. The Somalia Conference will be one of a sequence of events in 2013 to strengthen stability and security in the country, including an EU-hosted conference in September on the New Deal for fragile states and Somalia's "Transition Compact" – i.e. the country's reconstruction plan.

Somalia has suffered two decades of conflict, worsening droughts and heavy flooding. The EU is working to prevent the impact of droughts, which are a recurrent phenomenon in the Horn of Africa and leave people vulnerable to food security. In addition, 50,000 households directly benefited from support to the rehabilitation of irrigation and flood control infrastructure in 2010.


The EU has been particularly active in supporting the AMISOM, an African Union-led mission, mandated by the UN Security Council. Its initial mandate includes the provision of support to dialogue and reconciliation in Somalia, the protection of key infrastructure (e.g. government buildings and Mogadishu International Airport) to enable the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) - whose mandate expired in August 2012 when the Federal Government of Somalia was established to carry out their functions. The mandate also includes support to the implementation of the National Security and Stabilisation plan, and to disarmament and stabilisation efforts, as well as the facilitation of humanitarian operations.

Overall EU contribution amounts to over €444 million since 2007. Since late 2011, substantial progress has been achieved, as AMISOM, the Somali National Security Forces and troops aligned to the Somali Government have regained control of most of the capital of Mogadishu and other parts of the country.

Since its beginning, 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 EU trains Somalia's national security forces through its Training Mission (EUTM Somalia) under its 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.

The mission is also contributing to the Africa-EU partnership on peace and security of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES). The strategy, adopted at the Lisbon Summit in December 2007, remains the overarching policy framework for EU-Africa relations. The JAES puts EU-Africa relations on a new footing, based on the pursuit of shared values and common interests. Both sides are determined to strengthen their cooperation as equal partners, based on this shared long-term vision for EU-Africa relations in a globalised world.

For more information

MEMO/13/407: EU development work in Somalia

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

Somalia London Conference:

Contacts :

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Maria Sanchez Aponte (+32 2 298 10 35)

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