The Council today prolonged the mandates of its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and operation in the Horn of Africa and Somalia. The mandate of EUCAP Somalia, the EU’s civilian capacity-building mission, EUTM Somalia, the EU’s military training mission, and EU Naval Force Operation ATALANTA, one of the EU’s executive military maritime operations, will now run until 31 December 2024.

The decision was taken following the holistic strategic review of CSDP engagement in Somalia and the Horn of Africa with the aim to consolidate and strengthen the EU’s response to an evolving security context and enhance its role as a maritime security provider.

Capitalising on the successes of suppressing piracy off the coast of the Horn of Africa and Somalia, the overall mandate of Operation ATALANTA was consolidated. With this mandate, Operation ATALANTA is now in a better position to contribute to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Somalia, reduce drug traffic, support the ongoing fight against Al Shabaab and its funding streams, and the progress of the government of Somalia. Operation ATALANTA maintains its activities to deter, prevent and repress piracy and armed robbery at sea and extends its geographical scope north of the Red Sea. This broadened scope will ensure the freedom of navigation and the protection of World Food Programme and other vulnerable shipping to Somalia at the same time that allows the EU, in the spirit of Integrated Approach, to better support building a wider regional maritime security architecture

In Somalia, the EU’s CSDP action was extended to support the build-up of Somali Security Forces and institutions, in view of a gradual takeover of security responsibilities from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), in line with the revised Somali Transition Plan. With the renewed mandates, EUCAP Somalia and EUTM Somalia will support the development of Somali capacities and capabilities through strategic advice, mentoring and training, accompanied by the EU-funded equipment support of the European Peace Facility.

Ensuring the link of the EU’s CSDP action on and off shore, EUCAP Somalia will help strengthen the Somali maritime law enforcement capacity at federal and regional levels in Somaliland and Puntland, and develop a sustainable Somali-owned Coast Guard function. The mission will also assist Somalia in strengthening police capacity, including developing the Federal Darwish and strengthening INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Mogadishu.

All missions and operation will cooperate and coordinate with support of the EU Delegation in Mogadishu, to streamline, synchronize and strengthen the EU’s Integrated Approach in support of the Somali authorities. In order to strengthen the EU’s core values, all activities of the missions and operation will contain aspects of International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights, prevent gender-based violence, protect children in armed conflicts, and promote the agenda of women, peace and security.