Somaliland Joins EU Action to Strengthen Maritime Capacities in the Horn of Africa

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Duhul, Adm. Launay, Dr Mohamed-4th and Ambassador d'Urso at the briefingBy: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Coast guards are to benefit from European Union-EU equipment and Training.

The EU has officially incorporated the country into the EUCAP NESTOR program, which is geared towards strengthening the maritime capacities of Horn of African Countries as revealed during a joint EU/Somaliland government press briefing at the Hargeisa Presidency.

The briefing conducted by the visiting EU representative to Somaliland/Somalia Ambassador Michelle Cervone d’Urso and Foreign minister Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar took place immediately after a meeting between the EU team and president Silanyo.

According to the foreign minister discussions between president Silanyo and the EU country chief centred on enhancing the anti-piracy activities undertaken by Somalilanders.

“The presence of Amb d’Urso and his team here and official assimilation of the country in the EUCAP NESTOR program is testimony of Somaliland’s good anti-piracy reputation internationally” said Dr Mohamed Abdilahi who spoke first at the briefing.

While informing that the country’s prisons are home to several pirates captured by the national coast guard and the EUNAVAL Force Somalia, The foreign minister said that none of these detained pirates is of Somaliland origin.

“On behalf of the government and people of Somaliland, I thank the EU for its implementation of direct support to our counter piracy activities,” said the foreign minister.

According to Amb d’Urso, the EU will start providing training and equipment to the National Coast through the EUCAP NESTOR program that is the union’s newest Common Security and Defence Policy initiative in the Horn region focusing on Maritime Capacity Building.

The EU country chief who informed of his successful meetings first with members of parliament and the president as per enhancing the Union’s counter piracy activities with Somaliland also revealed that his other purpose in his second visit to Hargeisa was to introduce the EUCAP NESTOR head of mission Admiral Jacques Launay to the country.

Upon revealing that his meetings with authorities concurred on strategies for EU/Somaliland anti-piracy cooperation, Amb d’Urso informed that Admiral Launay’s team would start assessing the equipment and Human resource capacity of the Coast guard.

Said he, “Once equipment and training needs are established the EU will initiate relevant support”

Though coast guard capacity building is a major component of the Djibouti, headquartered EUCAP NESTOR another area to benefit is the judiciary where various cadres will receive training especially as pertains to prosecution and handling of piracy related cases.

Queried on why Somaliland is not beneficiary to the EU Training Mission-EUTM for Somalia that provides training to that country’s military Amb d’Urso said that the EU is currently focused on providing the country with soft security capacity building as well as enhancing the rule of law and justice thus strengthen capacities for on-land and at-sea interventions.

“The EU is piloting these activities in order to enhance and deepen cooperation with Somaliland whose success will mitigate positively for inclusion into the EUTM which is entirely a different program.

Since it allows maximising synergies between civilian and military capabilities, EUCAP NESTOR is an important element in the EU’s comprehensive approach to fighting piracy as a particular form of organised crime. In order to accomplish this mission, the EU has formed strategic partnerships with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

This mission will also work in an integrated and complementary manner with other interventions of the European Union, especially humanitarian aid and development cooperation.

The EU is committed to tackling piracy through a comprehensive approach that combats it at sea, while contributing to a lasting solution through the rule of law, socio-economic development and capacity building on land.

In this regard, the Council approved on the 12 December 2011 the concept for a new Common Security and Defence Policy mission EUCAP NESTOR to support regional maritime capacity building in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean states. This decision kicks off operational planning for the mission.

What is EUCAP NESTOR?

EUCAP NESTOR is a regional training mission under preparation, which will aim at strengthening the maritime capacities of eight countries in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.

EUCAP NESTOR will be a civilian mission carried out under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), augmented with military expertise. EUCAP NESTOR is fully complementary with the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR – Operation Atalanta) and the EU Training Mission (EUTM) in Somalia.

EUCAP NESTOR will have an initial mandate of two years, with a strategic assessment after a year, based on benchmarks and measurable achievements.

EUCAP NESTOR is an important element in the EU’s comprehensive approach to fighting piracy, as it allows maximising synergies between military and civilian capabilities. The EU has formed strategic partnerships with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to execute and deliver this mission. Complementarity with other EU-funded projects related to maritime security will also be crucial.

The Critical Maritime Routes Programme under the Instrument for Stability, in place since 2009, has been in the forefront of addressing the maritime capacity building needs in the Western Indian Ocean region, focusing on training and information sharing.

The envisaged support under the European Development Fund to assist the Eastern and Southern African – Indian Ocean Regional Strategy and Action Plan against Piracy and for Promoting Maritime Security (‘Regional Strategy’) will also contribute strongly to ongoing EU efforts. Finally, this mission will also work in an integrated and complementary manner with other interventions of the European Union, especially humanitarian aid and development cooperation

On 17 July 2012, Mr. Jacques LAUNAY was appointed Head of the European Union Mission on Regional Maritime Capacity Building in the Horn of Africa (EUCAP NESTOR).

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