Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The European Union (EU) said Monday it had agreed to boost funding to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), with an additional 50 million euros as part of efforts to help end the crisis in the Horn of African nation.
The European Commission’s latest funding brings the EU contribution to a total of 258 million euros since 2007.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, said the funds would be used to boost the fight against piracy, development assistance and humanitarian aid in Somalia.
"The EU is working with the African Union (AU) to bring an end to the crisis in Somalia. This support to AMISOM is part of the comprehensive approach we have developed in support to the Horn of Africa,” Ashton, the European Commission Vice-President, said Monday.
EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, said AMISOM played a key role in creating the ground for a better future for Somalia, giving the people of the country hope and a perspective of peace.
“Today’s decision is a clear sign that the EU remains committed to supporting AMISOM in its mission of creating the necessary pre-conditions that will enable the Somali authorities to bring security to its people and progress in the peace process," Pielbalgs said.
AMISOM is an African Union-led mission, mandated by the United Nations Security Council.
It has been active in Somalia since 2007, supporting dialogue and reconciliation and providing protection to key infrastructures.
The force secures government buildings and the Mogadishu International Airport to enable the Transitional Federal Institutions to carry out their functions.
The mission is also assisting in the implementation of the national Security and Stabilisation plan, providing support to disarmament and stabilisation efforts, as well as facilitating humanitarian operations, including repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons.
Over the past few months, substantial military progress has been achieved, as AMISOM and the forces of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) have regained control of most of the capital of Mogadishu. Current force levels have reached about 9,800.
The renewed EU support will allow AMISOM to continue to fulfill its mandate and to reach its total UN authorised strength of 12,000.
Since the deployment of AMISOM, the EU has been one of the main financiers of the operation, both through the African Peace Facility and through bilateral contributions of the EU members.
The EU provides the mission with predictable and continued support and covers costs such as allowances, medical care, housing, fuel and communication equipment.
-0- PANA AO/BOS 5Dec2011