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The RMCB mission on track (Update)

(BRUSSELS2, exclusive) More than two years after the first reflections on the need to work in depth against piracy, the mission of strengthening the maritime capacities of the countries bordering the Indian Ocean could experience its first official stage... soon. After much hesitation (*), the EU ambassadors agreed on the format of this mission. On Monday, foreign ministers acknowledged the need to " continue the work to strengthen the maritime capacities of the States of the region.

A civilian mission

This mission, called RMCB according to its abbreviated code name, should be a civilian mission, carried out in close liaison with the command of the anti-piracy operation Eunavfor Atalanta. A… rational outcome. A civilian mission makes it possible to pay the workforce from the European budget, a military mission would have forced the Member States to put their hands in their pockets. This mission would go in two directions: establish a coastal police in the various Somali states, particularly in Puntland in Galmudug and in Somaliland; it is not a question of coastguards as such but of providing the Somalis with training, means and tools, to act "on land" against pirates. The second track is to allow the maritime capacities of the other States around the Indian Ocean and the Somali basin to be strengthened (in the first place: Djibouti, Tanzania, Kenya and Seychelles).

The 27, on the other hand, did not manage to agree on the options aimed at strengthening the judicial capacities of Somalia.

Possible schedule

A crisis management concept (CMC) could be submitted to the Foreign Ministers at their meeting on 1 December. This would make it possible to launch the more complete planning process (Conops, etc.) until the launch of the mission which could take place - if all goes well - during the 1st half of 2012 (in June 2012).

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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