THE EUROPEAN UNION TRAINING MISSION IN SOMALIA: AN ASSESSMENT

Paul D. Williams and Hussein Yusuf Ali

The European Union Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia) provides the military pillar of the European Union’s (EU) efforts to help stabilize the country.1 Established in 2010, EUTM Somalia’s early mandate focused on delivering tactical training support to the newly reconstituted Somali National Army (SNA) working for the Transitional Federal Govern­ ment (TFG). Strategic advising was added in 2013 during the mission’s third mandate renewal.

EUTM Somalia is now part of the Comprehensive Approach to Security (CAS) plan, adopted in 2017 by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and international partners as part of a security pact.2 EUTM Somalia’s objectives are to increase ‘the proficiency, effectiveness, credibility and accountability of the Somali defense sector to enable Somali authorities to take over security responsibilities progressively’.3 The mission hopes to achieve these goals by delivering training and strategic advice. This includes tailored training and capacity­building activities to help deliver a ‘sustainable Somali­owned training system’ and, since 2016, training infantry companies, ideally that are multi­clan and integrated.4 The strategic advising and mentoring of SNA general staff and Ministry of Defence (MOD) personnel includes drafting keystone documents and policies and encouraging civilian oversight of the SNA.

This paper provides an overview of EUTM Somalia’s activities and an assessment of its impacts since it was established in 2010. It is based on a review of relevant primary and secondary sources, 42 semi­structured inter­ views with various stakeholders and two focus group discussions with SNA officers. These interviews were conducted during July and August 2020. The interviews were carried out adhering to social distancing practices in Mogadishu or remotely due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID­19) pandemic in 2020. Nearly half of the interviewees were SNA officers who had received some form of EUTM Somalia training. Other interviewees.

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