MADRID, 23 (EUROPA PRESS)
The European Council on Wednesday endorsed a two-year extension of the mandates of the bloc’s two missions on security and defense in Somalia, as well as that of the ‘Atalanta’ operation, the objective of which is to fight against piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
The agency has indicated that, in this way, the mandates of the EU training missions of the Somali Army (EUTM Somalia) and the civil mission (EUCAP Somalia), as well as that of the operation ‘Atalanta’, will be in force until on December 31, 2022.
Thus, he said that “the decision has been adopted in the context of a holistic and coordinated strategic review” on the situation in Somalia and the Horn of Africa “with the aim of consolidating and strengthening the EU response to the changing security context. and enhance its role as a security actor. “
The European Council also stated that “to capitalize on the successes in suppressing piracy off the coast of Somalia, the mandate of Operation ‘Atalanta’ has been expanded to some secondary executive tasks to combat arms trafficking and narcotics and other non-executives on supervision of illegal activities at sea. “
“Within the framework of its mandate, the ‘Atalanta’ operation will contribute to the implementation of the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations on Somalia and will support the fight with a march against Al Shabaab and its sources of financing,” he said in a statement. .
In this sense, he has argued that “these adjustments complement the central efforts of ‘Atalanta’ to dissuade, prevent and suppress piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia to guarantee freedom of navigation and the protection of the Program. World Food (WFP) and other vulnerable shipments to Somalia “.
“The expansion of the tasks of the operation and its geographical range allows the EU to increase the regional maritime security architecture, now reaching from the Red Sea to the western Indian Ocean, passing through the Bab el Mandeb Strait,” he said. argued.
‘Atalanta’ was launched by the EU in 2008 to fight piracy in Somalia waters and protect WFP ships and other vulnerable maritime transports. It also monitors fishing activities off the Horn of Africa and supports other EU programs and missions in the region.
On the other hand, it has defended that its security missions in Somalia have been extended “to support the strengthening of Somalia’s security forces and institutions, given the gradual assumption of security responsibilities from the hands of the African Union Mission in Somalia. (AMISOM) “.
The European Council has pointed out that, with the renewal of their mandates, EUCAP Somalia and EUTM Somalia “will support the development of Somali capacities through strategic advice, education and training, as well as support through equipment financed by the EU”.
“The two missions will continue to support the construction of democratic, sustainable and accountable Somali institutions and security forces, acting within the framework of the rule of law and civil supervision,” he added.