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EU Missions in Somalia: Successes, Challenges and Future Prospects

Written by Claire Rooth

Edited by Stef Clement & Miguel Andres Reyes Castro

Supervised by Ginevra Bertamini

Since the overthrow of dictator Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has been widely considered a failed state. For over three decades, the country has been afflicted by violent conflict, clan rivalries, corruption, piracy, terrorism and humanitarian disasters (Düsterhöft & Gerlach, 2013, p. 18). These issues have had significant implications for regional and global security and stability, prompting numerous international interventions. While there have been notable successes, Somalia continues to face substantial challenges towards lasting peace, security, and socio-economic development. 

The European Union (EU) is one of Somalia’s most prominent supporters, providing large amounts of aid (Hauck, 2023). Somalia currently hosts three EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions, more than any other country. Last year, their mandates were prolonged until 2024 (Council of the European Union, 2022). However, as Somalia’s largest and most important mission, the African Union (AU) Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and its replacement, the African Union Transition Mission (ATMIS), will end that year, it is unclear what will happen with the CSDP action in Somalia after 2024 (Dessu, 2022).

This Info Flash will evaluate the situation and discuss the successes, challenges and prospects of the EU missions in Somalia. The first section will provide the historical context, including the most critical international interventions. The second section will outline the three EU-led missions in Somalia: the European Training Mission (EUTM) Somalia, the EU Naval Force (EUNAFVOR) Somalia, and the EU Capacity Building Missions (EUCAP) Somalia. The third section will discuss the achievements and difficulties of the EU-led missions. Finally, the last section presents a conclusion and explores possible scenarios for the future of EU missions in Somalia.