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FOTO: Farah Abdi Warsameh, Scanpix

Land in sight? New report of the EU’s involvement in Somalia

After an 8 year transition period, Somalia has a new parliament and in the coming days both a new President and a new prime minister are due to be sworn in. The political process has been supported by organisations including the European Union. A new FOI report looks more closely at the EU’s engagement in Somalia.

The intervention in Somalia is a prime example of a situation where the EU puts its diversity of instruments to use, and where coordination of the various actors is crucial. The EU’s involvement will be affected by the way in which the political process develops.

“The newly assembled parliament must now choose a President. The sights are now set on holding general elections in 3-4 years time so this is also a kind of transition period but still a step on the path to becoming a functioning state,” says Emma Skeppström, an analyst at FOI.

The EU provides support to Somalia in a variety of ways. These include aid and humanitarian assistance, support for the security sector and a naval operation to curb pirate activity. Sweden contributes to a number of these initiatives, including the provision of personnel to assist in the training of the Somali security forces.

“Many problems remain to be solved but the EU is getting progressively closer to the root of the problem which lies deep in the country itself. The essential requirement is to build up the capacity of Somalia’s institutions. Both the police and the legal system are in a very deprived state. Support is needed, moreover, at both local and regional levels while further work takes place at the central level,” says Eva Hagström Frisell.

She believes that the introduction of a new constitution, a new parliament and a new President will mark an important step forward for the EU. Based on FOI’s analysis, recommendations are made as to what Sweden, within the framework of the EU, should do in order to strengthen the relevance of the EU’s support for peace, security and development in Somalia.

Read the report Land i sikte? EU:s samlade ansats gentemot Somalia [The EU Comprehensive Approach towards Somalia] by Eva Hagström Frisell, Magdalena Tham Lindell and Emma Skeppström. In Swedish with a summary in English.

Read more about FOI’s Africa Project

Read more about FOI’s Peace Support Operations Project

FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency

Swedish Defence Research Agency
SE-164 90 Stockholm

Phone +46 8 555 030 00
Fax +46 8 555 031 00

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