EU – 3124th Council meeting Foreign Affairs – Horn of Africa and Somalia


Brussels, 14 November 2011
The Council debated the situation in the Horn of Africa and in Somalia.
The Council adopted a strategic framework for the Horn of Africa, which is to guide EU action for greater peace, stability, security, prosperity and accountable government in the region. The strategic framework sets out five areas for EU action: Building robust and accountable political structures; contributing to conflict resolution and prevention; mitigating security threats emanating from the region; promoting economic growth, and supporting regional economic cooperation. – Horn of Africa
The Council adopted the following conclusions on the Horn of Africa:

1. „Underlining the importance attached by the EU to its relations with the Horn of Africa, the Council has adopted today a Strategic Framework to guide the EU’s engagement in the region. It welcomes the High Representative’s proposal to appoint an EU Special Representative (EUSR) for the Horn of Africa, focusing in the first instance on Somalia, the regional dimension of the conflict and piracy, and looks forward to the development of action plans to support implementation of the Strategic Framework.

2. The EU’s long-term commitment to the Horn of Africa is rooted in the region’s geo-strategic importance, the EU’s desire to support the welfare of the people of the Horn and to help lift them from poverty into self-sustaining economic growth. Instability in the region poses a growing challenge not only to the security of its peoples but also to the rest of the world. Continued EU engagement will be in support of both regional efforts, including through the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU), and national efforts to achieve lasting peace, security and justice, good governance based on the democratic principles of inclusion, the rule of law and respect for human rights. The Strategic Framework also recognises the need to protect European citizens from the threats that emanate from some parts of the region, including terrorism, piracy and the proliferation of the arms. It also identifies a number of common challenges such as climate change and migration.

3. The EU remains deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis affecting several countries in the Horn of Africa. Building on existing support provided to date (over € 760 million), the EU will continue to provide neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations and calls for increased assistance from and coordination of all donors. The Council calls on all parties to ensure safe and unhindered access by humanitarian actors in accordance with international humanitarian principles.

4. The Council highlights the need to address the underlying causes of the current humanitarian crisis in particular structural food insecurity, recurrent drought and conflict. The EU will continue to support the countries of the region in strengthening their national capacities through disaster risk reduction strategies and long-term development cooperation programmes in the areas of drought-preparedness, agriculture, rural development and food security. The effectiveness of such support is, however, dependent upon local ownership and the political commitment of the countries of the region to put structural policies in place to support sustainable agricultural and livestock production, including cross-border movements, natural resource management, in particular water resources, as well as trade and regional integration.

5. Piracy off the coast of Somalia continues to negatively impact on international maritime security and regional and international economic activities. The Council remains committed to the commendable work of the EU naval counter-piracy operation, EUNAVFOR Atalanta, which provides protection to World Food Programme and AMISOM shipping, and contributes to deterring piracy and protecting vulnerable shipping. The EU will advance work to enhance the capacity of Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa region to fight piracy, including through further strengthening of maritime capacities as well as prosecution and detention capacities. The EU will continue to work towards the tracking of financial flows from piracy. The EUSR for the Horn of Africa will contribute to developing and implementing a coherent, effective and balanced EU approach to piracy, encompassing all strands of EU action.

6. The Strategic Framework, in Annex, sets out the way in which the EU will pursue its strategic approach, working in partnership with the region itself and key international partners.

A STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR THE HORN OF AFRICA1

Executive Summary
The political evolution of the Horn of Africa over the past 50 years has been unusually turbulent. The objective of the European Union is therefore to support the people of the region in achieving greater peace, stability, security, prosperity and accountable government.

The EU’s engagement in the Horn will be supportive of a regional and country-level environment conducive to peace, security and justice, of good governance based on the democratic principles of inclusion, the rule of law and respect for human rights, and of socio-economic development based on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with due consideration to equity, climate change and sustainable livelihoods.

The EU’s interests in the Horn of Africa are defined by the region’s geo-strategic importance, the EU’s historic engagement with the countries of the region, its desire to support the welfare of the people and help lift them from poverty into self-sustaining economic growth, and the need for the EU to protect its own citizens from the threats that emanate from some parts of the region and address common challenges.

To achieve its objective of peace, stability, security, prosperity and accountable government, the EU will

(1) Assist all countries in the region to build robust and accountable political structures, including civil and civic institutions, allowing the people of the Horn to express their legitimate political aspirations and ensure that their basic human rights and freedoms are respected;
(2) Work with the countries of the region and with international organisations (especially the United Nations and African Union) to resolve current conflicts, particularly in Somalia and Sudan, and avoid future potential conflicts between or within countries;
(3) Ensure that, until that is achieved, the insecurity in the region does not threaten the security of others beyond its borders, e.g. through piracy, terrorism or irregular migration;
(4) Support efforts to promote the economic growth of all countries and people in the region, to enable them to reduce poverty, increase prosperity and enjoy not suffer from the benefits globalisation can bring;
(5) Support political and economic regional cooperation and bolster the role of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to tap into positive trends and developments across national borders;

To enhance the coherence, quality, impact and visibility of the EU’s multifaceted action in the region, an EU Special Representative (EUSR), in close consultation with the EUSR for Sudan and South Sudan, will contribute to the EU’s regional approach to the interrelated challenges facing the Horn.

The Framework proposes a number of ways the EU can pursue this strategic approach that will enable it to do so in partnership with the region itself and key partners. It identifies areas for action, but specific actions, in the form of sub-strategies and action plans, will be subject to subsequent decisions by the Commission, Council and Member States.

The High Representative and the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EUSR, EU Delegations in the region, the European Commission and Member States will work together to implement this Framework.“

– Somalia
The Council adopted the following conclusions on Somalia:

1. „The EU remains concerned about the situation in Somalia and its regional implications and is actively engaged in alleviating the consequences of the worsening humanitarian situation, restoring security and contributing to peace, development and internal reconciliation in the country. The famine has expanded to six regions of southern Somalia, including Mogadishu, and threatens to further expand across the south affecting nearly half of the population. The EU appeals to all concerned that international humanitarian actors should be given free and safe access to all in need of assistance. The EU will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable population and encourages others to do so.

2. The EU condemns the continued attacks on Somali civilians by Al Shabaab, including the bomb attacks of 4 and 18 October in Mogadishu. It is particularly concerned about the extension of such attacks to neighbouring countries, including Kenya, and the kidnap of European citizens and calls for their immediate release. Such attacks threaten not just neighbouring countries but the international community as a whole. The EU supports efforts to counter the threat of such attacks, consistent with international law; in this respect the EU reminds all parties of their obligations to protect civilians and safeguard humanitarian access in full accordance with international humanitarian principles. Recalling that military action alone will not create lasting security in Somalia, the EU underlines the need for coordination of all military and security actions in Somalia with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), the Inter-Governmental Agency for Development (IGAD), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) to ensure that military action against Al Shabaab is consolidated in the context of a sound civil and political strategy able to ensure a sustainable peace.

3. The EU reaffirms its commitment to continue political and financial support for AMISOM and encourages AU efforts to secure additional donors. It praises the commitment and bravery of the AMISOM peacekeeping troops who, together with the security forces of the TFG, have paid a high price to help build security in Mogadishu. The EU encourages AMISOM and the TFG forces to continue their efforts to prevent civilian casualties and to further develop their capacities to protect civilians and their human rights. The EU underlines that its support must be matched by complementary political efforts by the TFG, including initiatives to demonstrate peace dividends to people in safe, freed areas of the Somali capital.

4. Consistent with its commitment to assist the development of the Somali security sector, the EU has recently decided to extend the EU training mission (EUTM Somalia) for the provision of military training to the National Security Forces (NSF) of Somalia, with a special emphasis on the strengthening of the chain of command and self-training capacities of the NSF. The mandate will be carried out in cooperation with the TFG, Uganda, AMISOM, the US and others. The EU commends the efforts and commitment of the first intake of trained Somali soldiers in the recent security developments in Mogadishu.

5. The EU welcomes the outcome of the consultative meeting held in Mogadishu from 4 to 6 September, where key Somali leaders including representatives of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs), of the regions of Puntland and Galmudug, as well as of the Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a group signed together a „Roadmap for Ending the Transition“.

6. The EU will continue to participate actively in the Technical Committee established to monitor progress on the Roadmap and reiterates that the pace and degree of such progress will determine the extent of continued or additional EU support to the TFIs.

7. Recalling the recommendations of the International Contact Group meeting on Somalia in Copenhagen, 29-30 September, the EU appeals to all signatories of the Roadmap to implement the agreed tasks emphasising: a viable constitutional process, a sustained attempt at reconciliation; effective parliamentary reform, the development and implementation of a National Security and Stabilisation Plan as well as am effective maritime security and counter piracy policy. The EU recognizes that these tasks are interdependent and it is committed to provide targeted support for their full implementation, provided the TFIs demonstrate the political will to deliver effectively, improve financial transparency and accountability, and take effective action to tackle corruption. The EU is concerned about the pace at which the Roadmap is being implemented and urges the TFIs to immediately implement the priority transitional tasks.

8. The EU stresses, in particular, the importance of a credible and inclusive constitutional consultation process leading to a constitutional framework being in place by the end of the transition period, i.e. August 2012. The successful conclusion of the political transition process will require full, transparent and broad-based Somali ownership. The EU notes the potential challenges in involving an increasing number of internally displaced persons in the consultation process. In this context, the EU encourages the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to pursue a process of outreach and reconciliation with local and regional actors, civil society including women, religious and community leaders as well as other groups who are willing to engage constructively in the process to return the rule of law and constitutional government to Somalia.

9. In addition the EU calls on the TFG to do all it can to combat terrorism and commits to support the TFG in these efforts.

10. Already the largest donor to Somalia, the EU is increasing its development assistance to central, regional and local actors to consolidate a civilian strategy to build stable and accountable governance, improved livelihood opportunities and the provision of basic services. Regions of Somalia such as Puntland, Somaliland, as well as other local actors, including Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a, will be further supported by the EU as long as they continue to make progress in providing services, enhancing the Somali reconciliation process, combating Al Shabaab and developing their cooperation with the TFIs and other regional actors. The EU will ensure that its efforts in these regions are coordinated with other international actors.

11. The EU also underlines the need for a comprehensive approach to address piracy, including through capacity building in the maritime, judicial and penitentiary sectors, with a special emphasis on Somalia. To this end, it encourages the strengthening of cooperation between the TFG and the regions of Puntland, Galmudug and Somaliland.

12. The EU calls for further efforts to streamline and strengthen the coordination of all actors and international donors to Somalia. The establishment of the proposed Joint TFG-Donor Financial Management Board needs urgent attention.

13. The Council considers a sustained presence in Mogadishu will facilitate support to the Somali peace process, and invites the HR and the European Commission to examine how this may be assured in ways compatible with the security situation.“

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1 For the purpose of this paper, the Horn of Africa is defined as the countries belonging to the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) – Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.

Source:
Council of the European Union

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