Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, today announced that the European Union will further support the justice system and police force in Somalia with €44 million. The pledge was made during the Somalia conference in London, which aims to provide support for the Government of Somalia as they rebuild their country after two decades of conflict.
The EU has been a long-time partner to Somalia, with more than 1.2 billion euro provided since 2008 to support the Somali people basic needs and improve the security of the country.
Security goes hand in hand with justice and the rule of law. A credible justice system will be crucial to establishing a safer environment, rebuilding the trust of the people in the state and reconciling the nation. Equal and fair access to justice and an independent judiciary system are a pre-requisite for a viable state.
These €44 million will be used for the strengthening of governance, including the police and justice. Half of the amount will be for security sector reform, to train and equip police officers, judiciary and custodial corps, among others.
“In Somalia, like anywhere else, there can be no development without security. Over the last year, we have seen some encouraging advances. Larger territories are under the authority of the Federal Government, displaced people are able to go back home. Our new support demonstrates the EU’s continues to be the first partner of Somalia’s return to stability, security and prosperity”, said Commissioner Piebalgs.
“We are granting this new assistance to show once again the EU’s commitment to helping the Somali people to support good governance, security, justice and the police. While the situation in Somalia has improved considerably, great challenges remain. We will continue to work with the Somali Government on the reconstruction of the state, which must be a Somali-owned and Somali-led process”, said High Representative Catherine Ashton.
Though security is vital, it is just part of the picture. The Somalia Conference will be one of a sequence of events in 2013 to strengthen stability and security in the country, including an EU-hosted conference in September on the New Deal for fragile states and Somalia’s “Transition Compact” – i.e. the country’s reconstruction plan.
Somalia has suffered two decades of conflict, worsening droughts and heavy flooding. The EU is working to prevent the impact of droughts, which are a recurrent phenomenon in the Horn of Africa and leave people vulnerable to food security. In addition, 50,000 households directly benefited from support to the rehabilitation of irrigation and flood control infrastructure in 2010.