EU Commends Somalia's Fight Against Al-Shabaab and Urges Political Settlement Amid Crisis

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NEW YORK, (GO) - The European Union (EU) has commended the efforts of the Somali people and forces in their ongoing fight against al-Shabaab. The EU's Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Dr. Annette Weber, made the statement during a private meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Somalia. Dr. Weber expressed condolences to the families of fallen soldiers and recognized the sacrifices made by those fighting against al-Shabaab.

The EU has also pledged its continued support for the Somali National Army, including the allocation of €85 million for the military component of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) for 2023, and an additional €33 million for its civilian and police components for 2023 and 2024. The EU has contributed over €2.5 billion to the UN mandated mission since its inception and urges other partners to also contribute to the mission.

Dr. Weber stressed the importance of sustained operations through inclusive long-term planning, holding forces, and stabilisation efforts led by local authorities. The EU has increased its support to the Somali National Army to €25 million and contributed €16 million to stabilisation, in addition to significant humanitarian support.

The EU also acknowledged the need for political settlements on core issues, including an electoral model, at the next National Consultative Council (NCC) meeting in May. The EU has drafted a roadmap for joint priorities within security, politics, state-building, and socio-economic development with the current administration, with the aim of delivering on these priorities and advancing Somalia's state-building process.

Dr. Weber also highlighted the conflict unfolding in Las Anod and urged the parties to reinstate the ceasefire and engage in negotiations for a long-term settlement, while enabling humanitarian access. She noted that this conflict is a symptom of unaddressed grievances in certain communities and a lack of political settlement on the status of Somaliland. A long-term solution must be identified.

Dr. Weber's remarks highlighted the urgent need for a comprehensive approach and increased international support to address the ongoing drought in Somalia.

The EU's substantial contribution of 500 million euros towards humanitarian aid in Somalia since 2017 was also emphasized.

GAROWE ONLINE 

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