The European Council has prolonged the mandates of Operation ATALANTA, and of its two Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions – EUTM Somalia and EUCAP Somalia – until the 31st of December 2022. The decision of the Council aims to strengthen maritime security at large in Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
Since its set up in 2008, Operation ATALANTA has contributed to repress piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and to protect the vessels of the World Food Programme (WFP), African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other shipping to Somalia. In addition, ATALANTA has supported other EU CSDP missions and international organizations supporting maritime security in the region. With the extension of the mandate, the Operation will contribute to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Somalia and will support the ongoing fight against Al Shabaab and its funding streams. Hence, this extension of tasks will enable the EU to strengthen its role as provider of maritime security in an area extending from the Red Sea through Bab el Mandeb to the Western Indian Ocean.
Thanks to the renewed mandates, the two CSDP missions will continue to support the establishment of democratic Somali security institutions and forces through strategic advice, mentoring and training, in view of a gradual handover to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Specifically, EUCAP Somalia will enhance the country’s maritime civilian law enforcement capacity at federal and regional levels in Somaliland and Puntland, it will also assist Somalia in improving its police capacity. In addition to focus on training, mentoring and providing strategic advice to the Somali National Army (SNA), EUTM Somalia will readapt its training output the enabling functions, which are vital for the gradual transition of AMISOM.