East AfricaMissions Operations

When EUTM Somalia will move to Mogadishu

(BRUSSELS2 in Dublin) We don’t really know. But the training of Somali soldiers by European Union forces is “ one of the great successes of European defense policy” highlighted Irish General Gerald Aherne, who took command of this EUTM Somalia mission. “We have trained 3000 soldiers who today constitute the heart of the new Somali national forces » and have the task of « stabilize the situation in Mogadishu and also outside ". which allowed " to significantly increase the area of ​​action (footprint) of the Somali government » he said during a small press briefing following the informal meeting of Defense Ministers this Wednesday (February 13). For the general, “ there is a direct link between the stabilization of Somalia and the training of the Somali army.”

Specialized training

The current workforce is 87 Europeans from 13 different countries, based in Bihanga (Uganda) with reinforcement teams for specialized training: Civil-Military (CIMIC), engineering, detection of explosive devices (counter-IED), police military… " Each army brings what it has the most strength to, where it is most capable. This is the European strength » added General De Rousiers, military advisor to the High Representative of the EU.

Challenge: managing the move ...

The challenge today for the general's team is to manage the move to Mogadishu. An express request from the Somali government. This can only be done, he clarified, under two conditions: that security is ensured on site and that the generation of forces is positive. A force generation conference should take place by the end of the month to identify contributions from member states.

…and complete force generation

Here again, as with many European missions, force protection and medical support are lacking. “ We are working closely with our partners to ensure that these conditions are met." clarified Aherne. Having a Role 1 and Role 2 (infirmary and field hospital) is an obligation. But it's like “an insurance policy, we hope never to resort to it”.

According to the information collected by B2, several options are on the table, either contributions provided by Member States or “contracted” elements (contractors). The full move may not happen before the end of the year.

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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