Mogadishu 9 August 2020 – This morning the Mission Force Commander change of command ceremony took place at the EUTM Somalia Headquarters. Brigadier General Antonello DE SIO, handed over the lead of the EU Mission to his successor, Brigadier General Fabiano ZINZONE.

The ceremony was presided by European Union Acting Head of Delegation, Mrs. Nicole MILLER Among other distinguished guests, the US Ambassador in Somalia, H.E. Donald YAMAMOTO, the Deputy Ambassador of Italy in Somalia, Mr. Fabio BALLERINI, the Somali Ministry of Defence, Hon. Hassan Mohamed ALI, the General Director of MoD, Mr. Ahmed ABDI, the AMISOM Force Commander, LTG Tigabu Yilma WONDDIMHUNEGN, the Commander of CJTF Horn of Africa, MG Laphte C. FLORA, the Somali Chief of Defence Forces, BG Odowaa Yusuf RAGEH, the Tangham Commander, Colonel Tony CASEY, the Head of UNSOS, Mrs. Lisa FILIPPETTO, the Head of UNMAS Mr. Simon PORTER, the EUCAP Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Fabian LOEWENBERG and, from Bruxelles via VTC, the MPCC Director Vice Admiral Herve BLEJEAN.

 In his farewell speech Brigadier General DE SIO praised the EUTM-S personnel and all the International Partners for the efforts lavished in supporting the Somali Defence Institutions and also for their contribute the build-up of the Somali-owned capacity in the security field. He also underlined the need to continue EUTM-S and partners endeavour in order to support the Somali institutions in their constant process of reconstruction; to guarantee the security conditions that the Somali population deserves; to return to call Somalia “the Pearl of the Indian Ocean”.

During the ceremony, BG DE SIO, was awarded by Mrs. Nicole MILLER with the CSDP Medal for “Extraordinary Meritorious Service”, the highest level of recognition for distinguished achievement and service and for deeds of outstanding gallantry.

Brigadier General De SIO also received the AMISOM Medal by Lieutenant General TIGABU on behalf of the Chairman of the African Union Commission for Somalia Ambassador Francisco Caetano Jose MADEIRA, regarding his contribution to peace and stability of Somalia.

Brigadier General ZINZONE, as new Force Commander, expressed his gratitude to DE SIO for the outstanding work carried out in the past year; “I do take command of the mission, fully conscious of the capital importance of my role, our role for the future of Somalia. A safe, peaceful and ever growing nation”, he said.

EUTM Somalia aims at contributing to strengthening the Federal Government and Somalia Defence Security Institutions, following a three-pillar approach: Advising, Training and Mentoring. Furthermore the EU, along with Somali Authorities and International key partners, supports Somalia for efforts in improving security, development, diplomacy and essential services to the Somali people.