Monday, December 12, 2011

Fight against piracy: Council launches EU action to strengthen maritime capacities in the Horn of Africa

COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION.Brussels, 12 December 2011.18321/11 PRESSE 480. The Council today approved the concept for a new Common Security and Defence Policy mission 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. The mission is part of the EU's comprehensive approach to fight piracy and instability in the region. Its objective is to strengthen the capacity of states in the region to effectively govern their territorial waters and to reinforce their capacity to fight piracy.

The new mission has two main tasks: strengthening the sea-going maritime capacities in the countries in the region (with the exception of Somalia) and, in Somalia, the training of a coastal police force as well as the training and protection of judges. Specific activities to execute those tasks are to give expert advice on legal, policy and operational matters concerning maritime security; coast guard training to develop the ability to enforce laws on the sea; and procurement of the necessary equipment.

Support will be offered to Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Yemen as well as to Somalia, in particular to the regions of Puntland, Somaliland and Galmudug. Training is to take place both in the Djibouti regional training centre as well as in the countries concerned.

The mission is embedded in the recently adopted EU strategic framework for the Horn of Africa, setting out priority actions for the EU in that region. It is also complementary with two other CDSP missions in the region: EUNAVFOR Atalanta, contributing to the repression of piracy and to the protection of food aid shipments, and EUTM Somalia, training Somali security forces.

The actual start of operations is subject to a separate Council decision. See also Council conclusions of 1 December on the Common Security and Defence Policy (para 10).