The European Union’s training mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia) was extended for two years.
The Council of the EU decided yesterday, 22 January, to extend EUTM Somalia until 31 March 2015. “EUTM Somalia has provided great assistance to the Somali armed forces. All those who have been trained by EU military experts make a real difference on the ground” said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. The operation is expected to cost around EUR 11.6 million.
EUTM Somalia is an EU military training mission which aims to strengthen the Somali National Government (SNG) and the institutions of Somalia, by providing military training to members of the Somali National Armed Force (SNAF). It was launched in February 2010 in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1872. Almost 3.000 Somali soldiers have been trained so far. EUTM Somalia is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach for a peaceful and democratic Somalia and embedded in the EU strategic framework for the Horn of Africa.
Under its mandate, the mission will focus its activities by providing political and strategic advice to the Somali ministry of defence and the chief of defence forces, advising on security sector development as well as providing specialised military training and mentoring in the training domain. Depending on security conditions the mission will move training from Bihanga (Uganda) to Somalia. Brigadier General Gerald Aherne from Ireland will take over the command.