Mogadishu 8th August 2019 – The European Union Training Mission Somalia (EUTM-S) Mission Force Commander, Brigadier General Matteo Spreafico, has handed over the Command of the mission to his successor Brigadier General Antonello De Sio.

The ceremony for the transfer of authority took place at the EUTM-S Headquarters in Mogadishu, attended by European Union Military Staff Deputy Director M.G. Giovanni Manione.

A number of dignitaries joined EUTM-S Mission Force Commander Brigadier General Matteo Spreafico for the ceremony, including the Ambassador of USA in Somalia, Donald D. Yamamoto, the Deputy ambassador of Italy in Somalia, Fabio Ballerini, the Deputy ambassador of UK in Somalia, Mattew Roland, and all the commanders and their representatives of the missions operating in Somali territory.

 Brigadier General Spreafico started his speech by paying tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for the security and stability of Somalia. During his talk, he congratulated the EUTM-S Staff mission and all the international partners, who with combined effort have pursued the reconstruction process of the national institutions, to guarantee the necessary security conditions for the population.

The Brigadier General Spreafico, during the ceremony, was awarded with the “CSDP Medal for Extraordinary Meritorious Service” by the General Giovanni Manione, Deputy Director of the European Military Staff on behalf of The High Representative / Vice President Federica Mogherini. It is the highest level of recognition for distinguished achievement and service and for deeds of outstanding gallantry.

The Brigadier General Spreafico has also been awarded the AMISOM Medal by Lieutenant General Tigabu Yilma WONDDIMHUNEGN, AMISOM Force Commander, on behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia Ambassador Francisco Caetano Jose MADEIRA, for his contribution to rebuilding the peace and the stability of Somalia.

Brigadier General DE SIO, as new Force Commander of EUTM-S, expressed his gratitude to all the staff of the mission for the exceptional work carried out with the highest levels professionalism and for the concrete objectives achieved, under the leadership of Brigadier General Spreafico. Furthermore, he guaranteed the continuity of a systematic and synergic commitment with the Somali Ministry of Defence and the international organizations present in the area.

In addition to training tactical units of the Somali National Army (SNA), EUTM Somalia has been working closing with the SNA headquarters and the Somali Ministry of Defence. It has been helping to forge closer cooperation between the headquarters and the Ministry, promoting civilian oversight over the Armed Forces and assisting with the development of key policy and legislative documents.