The EU and Somalia renewed cooperation commitment

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). The new commitment will contribute to the proposed increase in troop strength active in AMISOM. EU aid covers costs such as troop allowances, medical care, housing, fuel, and communication equipment.

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. For example, in 2009, the EU began to train Somali security forces. Now, the EU renewed its commitment to foster peace and security in Somalia. The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, made the announcement to the Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali in a meeting held ahead to the 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.

At the meeting, 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.

On the other hand, the EU is allocating approximately €415 million to development projects in Somalia for the period 2008-2013. Among the topics covered by the funding are governance, education and the social sector, and economic development. This is complemented by EU funded projects on maritime security, water resources management and de-mining in the liberated areas (€102 million).