On 10 April 2010, the EU launched a military training mission (EUTM Somalia) in order to contribute to strengthening the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the institutions of Somalia.
Initially, training took place in Uganda due to the security situation in Somalia at that time, and in close collaboration with the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). On 22 January 2013, the Council of the European Union extended the mandate of EUTM Somalia to March 2015.
This 3rd Mission Mandate contained a significant change of Mission focus, with the addition of strategic advisory and mentoring activities to complement the training role. In the first months of 2014 EUTM – S Mission HQ was relocated to Mogadishu, along with all advisory, mentoring and training activities, which lead to the closure of all locations in Uganda.
On 16 March 2015, the 4th Mandate extended the mission until December 2016. Whilst maintaining its training capability with a focus on leadership and specialized courses, the Mission increased its advisory activities aimed at building long-term capability within the Somali Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Somali National Army (SNA) General Staff.
On 12 December 2016, the Council renewed the mandate of EUTM Somalia for the fifth time until 31 December 2018 and on 01 January 2019 it commenced its 6th Mandate in order to build on its previous successes.
At the end of 2020, the 7th mandate Mission Plan takes into account EU Integrated Approach and in this vein especially with EUCAP-Somalia. The mission consolidated the efforts in developing a functional and effective Somali-Owned Training System (SOTS).
On 8 December 2022, the Council renewed the EUTM-S mandate till 31 December 2024. The 8th mandate provides implemented support to SNA/SNAF in adherence with Training, Advice and Mentoring pillars and provides specialized courses on Train the Trainers and Somali own Training System programs.
On 12 December 2016, the Council of European Union prolonged EUTM – Somalia until 31 December 2018 with a budget of close to € 27 million for the period from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2018. During its 5th mandate, EUTM-S is to provide political and strategic level military advice and mentoring to Somali Authorities within the Defence institutions, as well as specific mentoring, advice, tailored training and capacity building in the training domain, in order to contribute to the development of the Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) and be capable to fulfil their respective assignments in the Security Sector with a priority on delivery effective and sustainable security in Somalia.
In this light EUTM – Somalia has to play, on behalf of the EU, an essential role in the reform and enhancement of the capacity of Somali’s security institutions (focused on Ministry of Defence and General Staff), providing military advice at the political and strategic levels to Somali authorities within the security institutions, and supporting the build-up of a sustainable Somali-owned military training system with a new training concept and training and advising in the Sector Headquarters.
In particular, EUTM-S trains company level units (integrated and multi clan), carrying out courses to train future trainers (Train the Trainers Program) and conducting its advising and mentoring role in favor of Somali Ministry of Defense and Somali National Armed Forces (SNA) personnel. These activities, led by the Mission, are accomplished in close coordination with others International Partners based in Somalia.
The Training Team (TT), in liaison with AMISOM, UNSOM and other actors plays an active role supporting the Somali military authorities in the design and development of a Somali owned training system. Nowadays EUTM-S is focused in collective training and during the 5th Mandate has the challenge to train 3 Light Infantry Companies (115 soldiers each), 3 Engineer Platoons and 3 Somali Training Teams (about 15 soldiers each) by year. All of this activities are conducted in General Dhagabadan Training Centre (GDTC). TT also provides mentoring of GDTC Commander and their staff and advisory to J7 SNA HQ about training affairs. This activities involve more than 500 trainees in a year and 14 trainers and 2 mentors coming from seven different EU countries.
In an advisory role, EUTM Somalia has a dedicated asset involved in the delivering its effect: the Advisory Team (AT). AT provides strategic advice to the Somali Authorities within the Security Institutions (MoD and SNA General Staff), for which key outcomes are the development and drafting of keystone documents, along with advisory and mentoring activities in the Ministry of Defence and in the SNA General Staff. EUTM Somalia advisors also monitor an EU-funded project aimed to increase the MoD capacity to exert civilian oversight over the Armed Forces.
The Political and Security Committee (PSC) exercises the political control and strategic direction under the responsibility of the Council of the European Union and of the High Representative.
For its part, the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) monitors the correct execution of the mission conducted under the responsibility of the Mission Force Commander, Brigadier General Fulvio POLI.
The EU supports the Somali institutions in the process towards a peaceful Somalia. It continues to engage with the Somali Federal Government and supports its efforts towards improving the living conditions of the population, including in the field of security and the delivery of basic services. The EU supports the principles laid down in the Djibouti Peace Agreement, including the spirit of reconciliation and the search for an inclusive process in Somalia.
In addition to EUTM Somalia, there are a range of EU instruments contributing to the development of the security sector in Somalia, in cooperation with international partners. The EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) – Operation ATALANTA contributes to the prevention and deterrence of piracy and the protection of vulnerable shipping. The EU also contributes to the development of coastal police and the judiciary in Somalia, among other countries, through its regional civilian mission – EUCAP Somalia. Additionally, EU development aid (e.g. education and job creation programs) supports alternative livelihoods, thus contributing to the development of economic opportunities that will attract young Somalis away from criminal activities and extremism.
The EU is a major sponsor of ATMIS, the African Transition Mission in Somalia peacekeeping mission in Somalia, both financially and also through planning and capacity building. The EU has been funding ATMIS since its launch in March 2007 through the African Peace Facility (APF).