BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Council adopted the following conclusions:
1. “The EU welcomes the end of the transition in Somalia as a historic opportunity to leave behind two decades of conflict. Adoption of a provisional Constitution, the selection of a Federal Parliament and the election of a new President bring new prospects for lasting peace and prosperity to Somalia. The visit of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to the EU is a sign of its recognition of the new political setting in Somalia and of a strengthened partnership between the EU and Somalia.
2. The EU stresses the importance of Somali ownership and underlines the primary responsibility of the Somali authorities to re-build a country free from the threat of violence and organised crime, economically viable, engaged with its neighbours and the international community. Reflecting a shift of paradigm in EU-Somalia relations and consistent with its comprehensive approach, the EU is committed to supporting the new Government’s vision and priorities. It undertakes to sustain its collective efforts to support Somalia’s transformation and to engage more directly with the Somali people and institutions. In this context, the EU encourages the accession of Somalia to the Cotonou Agreement.
3. The Council welcomes the announcement by the High Representative/Vice-President
(HR/VP) and the Somali President that Somalia and the EU will host a Conference in Brussels that will focus on medium- and long-term priorities and needs of Somalia and its people. The aim of the Conference will be to endorse a Compact between Somalia and the international community that will guide the reconstruction of Somalia, based on the Busan New Deal Principles for Fragile States. The Conference will focus on building a new political order in Somalia, promoting its socio-economic development and establishing the rule of law and security. The EU also welcomes the UK initiative to host a Conference that will focus on the immediate priorities of strengthening security, justice, public financial management and supporting the political progress of Somalia. The EU welcomes the engagement of the Somali
Federal Government in co-hosting the two conferences
4. The EU supports the Somali President’s immediate priority of extending security in the country. On the basis of a revised National Stabilisation and Security Plan (NSSP) and related security sector reform strategies, the EU will continue to help develop Somali security capacity accountable to political authority as well as rule of law capacity across the country, providing protection for the population and respecting human rights. The EU highlights the importance of international coordination and complementarity in support of Somalia’s security sector development.
Since 2010, the EU Training Mission (EUTM) Somalia has successfully trained nearly 3,000 Somali soldiers, which now constitute the core of the Somali National Armed Forces.
Building on its success and responding to the evolving needs of the Somali authorities, the
Council decided on 22 January 2013 to extend the mandate of the EUTM Somalia until 31 March 2015 and to appoint Brigadier General Aherne as the Mission Commander. The mission will provide training as well as advice to help building effective, well-integrated, selfsustainable and accountable Somali National Armed Forces in continued close cooperation with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Uganda and the US and other partners. As the security situation allows, EUTM will gradually transfer its activities from Uganda to Somalia.
The EU has also supported the rule of law sector. It has supported judicial capacities and the training and payment of stipends of Somali Police Forces, in close cooperation with the UN.
In addition, its EUCAP NESTOR mission will assist Somalia and states in the region to develop self-sustainable capacities to enhance maritime security and governance, including judicial capacities.
5. The EU commends the efforts of the AMISOM and welcomes the completion of the AU strategic review. AMISOM can be expected to continue to play a vital role in bringing security to Somalia while the capacity of Somali security forces develops. Considering that support to AMISOM remains one of the EU’s priorities in Africa, the EU reiterates its readiness to continue to provide significant support to AMISOM through the African Peace Facility. It also calls upon other donors to ensure predictable and sustainable funding for AMISOM.
6. The EU welcomes the completion of the United Nations (UN) strategic review of its presence in Somalia, and looks forward to an enhanced UN role in Somalia, including in relation to the effective coordination of international engagement, in support of peace- and state-building.
7. The EU underlines the importance of reconciling the nation and of building accountable and transparent institutions at local, regional and national levels, through an approach inclusive of all clans and social groups. The EU will support the Government’s efforts to promote democracy, the rule of law and strengthen the respect of human rights. The EU stresses the importance of adopting a final Constitution by referendum, reflecting the will of all Somalis, of encouraging dialogue and peaceful interactions between the centre and the regions, and of preparing for elections. It will also support inclusive local development and reconciliation efforts. The EU underlines the critical role of civil society and the media in the process of transformation.
8. The EU also undertakes to support the socio-economic recovery that is needed to improve the welfare and livelihoods of Somalis. It will support basic service provision, strengthen public finance management and support the country’s re-engagement with the international financial institutions. The EU will help to build resilience, including through linking relief, rehabilitation and development in delivering EU assistance to Somalia.
9. The EU will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to meet the most urgent needs of the people of Somalia, in full respect of the humanitarian principles of neutrality, humanity, impartiality and independence. It calls on all parties in Somalia to ensure safe and unhindered access to humanitarian aid and to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.
10. The EU notes that improved conditions on land will also contribute to tackling the root causes of piracy off the coast of Somalia. It commends the success of the EU’s naval operation EUNAVFOR ATALANTA in the fight against piracy. The EU aims to consolidate the containment of piracy in the Western Indian Ocean through ATALANTA, while limiting the ability of piracy groups to operate from land by building Somali law enforcement capacity, including through EUCAP NESTOR, and disrupting the piracy networks including its financiers and logistics. It will do so together with the Somali authorities, taking in to account their evolving needs as well as the political and security situation on the ground, and using its Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations and other EU instruments in a coherent and mutually reinforcing way.
11. The EU remains concerned about the continuous threat which terrorism poses to Somalia itself, the wider region and at a global level. The EU has committed to help build regional capacities to tackle the threat of terrorism, to support regional law enforcement cooperation and counter violent extremism, including through the work of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, working with regional bodies, national governments in the Horn and in Yemen, and with key partners such as the UN and the AU. The Council therefore notes that Member
States have endorsed today an EU Counter-Terrorism Action Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen within their sphere of competence.
12. The EU recognises that a precondition for peace, security and prosperity in Somalia is stability in its wider neighbourhood. It emphasises the need for the countries of the region to step up efforts to build good neighbourly relations, develop regional capacities and forge regional cooperation and integration, in particular in the economic field, and to lay the foundation for a regional political, economic and security framework. As a first step, the EU urges Somalia and its neighbours to reach a good neighbourliness agreement under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and with the support of its partners. It further encourages Somalia’s active engagement in IGAD and urges all countries of the region to demonstrate their willingness to settle bilateral disputes in its framework. As set out in the EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa, the EU stands ready to facilitate and to work closely with the AU and with IGAD and its member states to achieve these objectives, including through the efforts of the EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa.
The EU emphasises the importance of peaceful and credible elections in Kenya in March 2013 for the country’s security and prosperity and that of the wider region.”