“Broadened mandate facilitates shift of focus from counter-piracy to more maritime related activities as pertains to developing the Somaliland capacity to tackle a broader set of maritime security threats and challenges in addition to piracy” Head of mission Maria-Cristina Stepanescu
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- The EU Maritime Capacity Building Mission formerly known as EUCAP Nestor has from the 1st March 2017 rebranded thence assume its Somaliland operations under the name EUCAP
This was revealed during the opening of its Somaliland country offices in Hargeisa officiated by the its head of mission Maria-Cristina Stepanescu at a function h of at the Ambassador hotel where she was flanked by European Union External Action Service Civilian Operations Commander (CivOpsCdr), Kenneth Deane.
Somaliland was represented by senior officials including the minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Saad Ali Shire and his Justice colleague Ahmed Adare as well as the Chief Justice, Berbera mayor, The chancellor Berbers maritime university and the manger of Berbera port among others.
On the broadened mandate of the EU Maritime Capacity Building Mission that assumed its Somalia operations under the name EUCAP Somalia on first March 2017, Maria-Cristina Stepanescu that in order to facilitate ease of providing its now broadened mandate for Somaliland, EUCAP shall maintain offices in Hargeisa and a satellite one in Berbera.
Said she“It is an honour to be with you here today on the occasion of the launch of mission as the EU Capacity Building Misssion-EUCAP- under a new, broader civilian maritime specify mandate here in Somaliland”
While underlining how impressed she was with the determination, Knowledge and skills displayed by her mission’s local counterparts since she assumed duties last year, Ms Maria-Cristina Stepanescu a Romanian police officer who is the first female to head the mission also revealed that the broadened EUCAP mandate does not prioritize counter piracy but intervene in other sectors as well.
“as you are aware our mission previously had a mandate that was specifically focused on counter-piracy, said the head of mission adding that
“since Somaliland faces other pressing maritime security challenges the new mandate of EUCAP will enable us to assist Somaliland in developing capacity to tackle a broader set of maritime security threats and challenges in addition to piracy”
Other key areas under the broadened mandate include fisheries inspection and enforcement, maritime search and rescue, counter-smuggling and counter-piracy capacity while retaining the an emphasis on local capacity to police the coastal zone on land and sea.
The Somaliland coast guard remains the main EUCAP Counterpart other partners include the ministry of Justice and judicial affairs, immigration department .
meantime below are verbatim excerpts of a press statement released by EUCAP titled “EU Maritime Capacity Building Mission (EUCAP) opens new premises in Hargeisa”
Quote -The EU Maritime Capacity Building Mission EUCAP Nestor has been re-launched under a new, broadened civilian maritime security mandate.
On March 8th the mission opened new premises in Hargeisa, Somaliland.
Under the new mandate EUCAP will continue to provide support to the Somaliland Coast Guard in Berbera and work closely together with the Berbera Maritime and Fisheries Academy. The mission also mentors the Somaliland judiciary on Law Drafting.
The event was attended by the Somaliland Authorities and media representatives, welcomed by the European Union External Action Service Civilian Operations Commander (CivOpsCdr), Kenneth Deane and EUCAP Head of Mission, Maria-Cristina Stepanescu.
The EU CivOpsCrd described to the Somaliland partners how the focus on governance and institution-building is an integral part of a Maritime Resource and Security Strategy.
With an extensive coastline, a secure and stable maritime environment can contribute to the sustainable use Somaliland maritime resources and the development of a blue economy.
EUCAP Head of Mission stressed that the new mandate will enable the mission to assist Somaliland in developing its maritime capacity tackling a broader set of maritime security threats and challenges, particularly fisheries inspection and enforcement, maritime search and rescue, counter-smuggling and counter-piracy capacity. The mandate, added Ms Stepanescu also retains an emphasis on local capacity to police the coastal zone on land and at sea.
EUCAP is a civilian EU mission, under the auspices of the Common Security and Defence Policy, which assists Somalia in strengthening its capacity to ensure maritime security.
Press and Public Information Office
EU Capacity Building Mission (EUCAP)
International Campus, Mogadishu International Airport, Mogadishu, Somalia
Somalia’s mobile +252 699012497
Kenya’s mobile: +254 727106645
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