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EU: Putting civil-military cooperation in practise in the Horn of Africa


Thursday, 03 January 2019

EU: Putting civil-military cooperation in practise in the Horn of Africa

The Horn of Africa is situated in the easternmost part of the African continent and is of strategic importance to a number of external actors, including the European Union. The EU currently conducts a military training mission (EUTM Somalia) and a civilian capacity building mission (EUCAP Somalia) as well as a military naval operation called ‘Atalanta’, safeguarding waters in the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean. Piracy off the coast of Somalia developed as a serious threat to international shipping some ten years ago. At the same time, foreign ships took advantage of the absence of an effective national Somali coast guard to illegally exploit fishing grounds. Partly in reaction to declining fish stocks, local Somali communities, in need of other sources of income, formed armed groups to hijack commercial vessels. What started in part as a response against foreign vessels fishing in the waters of Somalia quickly grew into an extremely lucrative trade due to the prospects of large ransom payments. What are the objectives of the EU missions and operations ? The three CSDP missions and operations have different tasks but follow one goal: building lasting stability in Somalia and the region. While the military training mission (EUTM Somali) directly supports the build-up of the Somali National Army (SNA) through training, advising and mentoring activities, the civilian mission (EUCAP Somalia) improves Somalia's maritime security capacities. This includes among other things giving advice on how to reform and modernise the legislative framework including for example on the Somali National Coast Guard, on Fisheries or Anti-Piracy. Furthermore, the mission is involved in the drafting of national policies and strategies, including the national Security Plan, the draft National Maritime Threat Assessment, draft Somaliland Coast Guard Joint Action Plan, and the Puntland State Police Plan.

Source: eeas.europa.eu