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Civilian CSDP: coordinating international support for maritime security in Somalia

20/11/2019 - 18:46
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The civilian CSDP Mission EUCAP Somalia advises local authorities how to take ownership of security and rule of law in Somalia's coastal regions. EU civilians and military as well as Member State actors coordinate to maximise synergy and efficiency.

The civilian CSDP Mission EUCAP Somalia advises local authorities how to take ownership of security and rule of law in Somalia's coastal regions.

Strengthening Somali ownership of their territorial waters

The blue economy, fishery and seafaring are cornerstones of Somalia's economic development. The threat of piracy has been significantly reduced due to security action that the Somali authorities and their international partners carry out jointly since a decade. This said, smuggling and illegal fishery continue to damage Somalia's economic interests.  The EU supports the local authorities in their quest to take ownership of their territorial waters and to safeguard security and the rule of law in their maritime areas.

A key player is the civilian CSDP Mission EUCAP Somalia which was launched originally in 2012 to advise on the rebuilding of the maritime rule of law sector. In 2019 the Mission increased the depth and pace of its activities, retaining the focus on maritime security and, at the same, assuming a role in support of broader police development.

In Mogadishu to provide situational awareness to Brussels' based leadership
In Mogadishu to provide situational awareness to Brussels' based leadership

In Mogadishu to provide situational awareness to Brussels' based leadership

To link the Mission first-hand with Brussels' based EU players, the headquarter of the civilian CSDP Missions, the CPCC, sends regularly leading experts to take stock of current achievements, but also challenges in Mogadishu. "The focus of my recent visit was to analyse a rebalance of the Mission's current activities for a better match with the Somali key priorities, which clearly focus on the "military-to-police" transition", told Jean-Marc Pisani, Head of Operations at the CPCC. "What are EUCAP Somalia's current challenges? Naturally the security environment, but  a CSDP Mission is designed to work in such an environment. Furthermore the need to deepen the coordination with the different partners, including the EU's diplomatic and military actors for a maximum of synergy."

Achieving a maximum of synergy through first-hand coordination on the ground and at headquarters
Achieving a maximum of synergy through first-hand coordination on the ground and at headquarters

Achieving a maximum of synergy through first-hand coordination on the ground and at headquarters

A concrete measure to deepen afore mentioned coordination was the planning and exchange meeting mid-November at Brussels' headquarters which allowed the respective civilian and military EU services as well as diplomats from the EU Member States to take face to face stock of the current CSDP engagement in the Horn of Africa. Coordination, avoiding duplication and the identification for action niches is essential for the international support by the UN and EU families to the Somali partners.

Background: EUCAP Somalia mentors Somali counterparts, advises on maritime civilian security as well as gives practical support in the form of donations of equipment such as patrol boats or radio systems. In 2018 alone the Mission donated EUR 384 000 worth of equipment.

CSDP Missions, civilian and military, are designed to support partner countries' security efforts in fragile and high-risk environments. The EU deploys currently ten civilian Missions that work for human security in Africa, the Middle East and the wider European neighbourhood.

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