European Union External Action

EU closer to permanent and integrated presence in Somalia

18/12/2015 - 09:14
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Gradually emerging from a prolonged crisis and notwithstanding political, security and many other challenges, Somalia, a fragile state in the Horn of Africa, is now looking towards a brighter and more secure future. The EU is the largest donor to Somalia and has heavily invested in the country's stability and reconstruction.

Future EU compound in Mogadiscio

A key partner in political and developmental terms, the EU also provides security to Somalia and has stood by the country even after the de facto closure of the Delegation in Mogadishu in 1991. 

Following the end of the transition period in 2012, the EU substantially stepped up its engagement. The first EU Ambassador to Somalia was appointed in 2012 and in 2013 the EU co-hosted the 'New Deal' Conference rallying the support of the international community around a shared vision for Somalia.

In 2014, the EU decided to re-establish a fully-fledged delegation to Somalia. The prevailing security situation and the absence of suitable premises in Mogadishu at the time did not allow for a permanent presence. The Delegation was therefore co-located with the EU Delegation to Kenya, with staff regularly commuting to Somalia.

The Somali Government is eager for the EU and the rest of the international community to operate from Somalia thus facilitating dialogue and interaction. Some of Somalia's partners of the international community have already returned to Mogadishu and the EU has been awaited for some time to re-establish its physical presence given its important contribution to Somalia's stabilisation.

As preparatory works have now advanced, the EU anticipates the relocation to its new permanent delegation premises in Mogadishu within a year's time. It will be a recognition of Somalia's achievements as well as the country's commitment to reach important political, security and economic recovery goals in 2016; notably the commitment that the mandate of the Government of Somalia is to end through an electoral process.

The EU has the ambition of an integrated presence in Mogadishu – housing to the extent possible all EU actors in Somalia. The EU Delegation will thus be co-located with the office of the EUSR for the Horn of Africa and the CSDP missions working on Somalia's stability (with the exception of EUTM Somalia). EU Member States willing to join are invited to associate with the initiative. This approach will reflect the whole range of the EU's comprehensive involvement in the country.

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