EU donates military equipment to Somalia

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Non-lethal military hardware funded by the European Peace Facility has been handed over to the Somali National Army (SNA), with trucks and trailers supporting SNA units trained by the EU Training Mission in Somalia.

The equipment, which comprises Shacman trucks and Toyota Land Cruiser pickups, will contribute to the security transition, in the context of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) drawdown, the European Commission said on 17 October.

The EU support, implemented by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), aims at building the operational capabilities of the SNA, thereby contributing to the Somali security forces and institutions taking over full responsibility for security in Somalia, in line with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and with the Somali Transition Plan, the European Commission said. “While this support focuses on strengthening combat support services functions, it builds on previous EU assistance, which enhanced SNA Counter-Improvised Explosive Device capabilities, medical and life-saving capacities, command and control function, as well as ground transportation.”

The hand-over of military equipment financed under the European Peace Facility to two infantry battalions of the SNA follows specialised training delivered by the EU Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM-Somalia). All beneficiaries also underwent training on international human rights and humanitarian law prior to receiving the EU-funded equipment.

This hand-over is part of a series of three consecutive EU support packages in support of the Somali Security Forces since 2020, amounting to a total of 65 million euros, the European Commission said. The support aims at providing non-lethal military equipment to a total of ten SNA battalions. It also aims at improving military infrastructure, in close synergy with EUTM-Somalia, whose mandate focuses on training, mentoring and advising the SNA.

In parallel, a financial package for the military component of ATMIS of 85 million euros for 2023 was agreed by EU Member States and is being implemented by the African Union. The total EU support to ATMIS since 2007 amounts to over 2.6 billion euros. This support to the military component of ATMIS and to the SNA capacity-building is financed under the European Peace Facility’s Assistance Measures for support to the African Union, worth 730 million euros for the period 2021-2024.

The Service for Foreign Policy Instruments of the European Commission also supports Somalia with crisis response, conflict prevention and peace building actions for an amount of 25 million euros, covering notably rapid stabilisation in newly recovered areas, the European Commission added.