Tuesday

28th Feb 2017

Somalia security forces to get EU training

  • The EU is already patrolling the waters off the Somali coast (Photo: Council of European Union)

Europe's foreign affairs ministers on Monday (25 January) decided to send some 100 military personnel to train Somali security forces, following a request by the transitional government in Mogadishu and amid increasing attacks from militants.

EU ministers justified the decision by expressing their "concern about the worsening security situation in Somalia and its spreading effects to neighbouring countries," according to the final conclusions of the one-day meeting in Brussels.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The European training mission, comprising roughly 100 military personnel, will take place in Uganda, where Somali forces are already being trained by the United Nations and the US.

Somalia's transitional government last year requested international help to train some 6,000 security forces, as it struggles with attacks from militants, including on refugee camps.

The EU would train up to 2,000 soldiers when it takes up its mission, most likely in May. It also runs a naval mission – Atalanta – aimed at fighting piracy off the Somali coast and providing security to UN ships carrying food aid.

Somalia, one of the poorest countries in the world, has been scarred by civil wars and insurgencies ever since the overthrow of President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Mogadishu has seen daily attacks and fighting between government forces and the insurgents, leading to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

Some member states, notably the Netherlands, raised the question of how the EU will ensure that the newly trained troops will not switch sides once they're back in Somalia.

In its final conclusions, EU's ministers stressed that this mission will be "part of a wider international effort and encompassing inter alia the vetting of trainees, the monitoring and mentoring of the forces once back in Mogadishu and the funding and payment of the salaries of the soldiers."

A recent report by Amnesty International called for arms transfers to the Somali government to be suspended until there are adequate safeguards to prevent weapons from being used to commit war crimes and human rights abuses.

The human rights watchdog also appealed to countries providing military and police training to integrate international humanitarian law and arms management in their programs.

A UN arms embargo on Somalia has been in place since 1992 but states can apply for exemptions to supply security assistance to the Somali government.

News in Brief

  1. Le Pen party in new EU fraud allegations
  2. May to end rights of EU nationals after Article 50 triggered
  3. Nato warns against Armenia-Azerbaijan 'escalation'
  4. EU: No military solution to Nagorno-Karabakh war
  5. EU adopts visa-free brake mechanism
  6. Trump and Brexit drew on same resources
  7. Romanian protestors form EU flag at anti-government rally
  8. Over 3,500 attacks on refugees in Germany: report

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFA Deadly Journey for Children: The Migration Route From North Africa to Europe
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsFreedom of Association and Expression Under Threat in Kazakhstan
  3. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Brussels on March 6th
  4. EURORDISJoin Rare Disease Day and Help Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  6. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  7. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  8. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  9. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  10. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  11. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  12. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen