EU pumps €4.5 million for stabilization of liberated areas in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - As part of the efforts to help install civilian administrations in areas liberated from the Al-Shabaab militants, the European Union [EU] had pumped €4.5 million into Somalia which will aid in supporting various projects meant for the stabilization of the Horn of Africa nation.
Areas supported are mainly located in Galmudug, Hirshabelle, South West, and Jubbaland where the government launched the first phase of a crackdown against Al-Shabaab, leading to the death of close to 3,000 militants according to statistics given by the interior and security ministry.
On Wednesday, Somalia's Minister of Interior, Federal, and Reconciliation, Ahmed Moallim Fiqi, representatives from the regional states, the European Union Ambassador to Somalia, Tiina Intelmann, and NIS Foundation officials attended the launching of the Rapid Nationwide Stabilization Project in the capital Mogadishu.
The project, the EU said, will mainly focus on the provision of crucial government services such as security, water, and reconciliation to the people living in the recently liberated areas of the country. Several areas in central and southern Somalia are now under the control of government forces.
Projections given by the government indicate that the first phase of the project will focus I Harardhere, Eldheer, Mahaas, Matabaan, Teedaan, Rage Cele, and Aden Yabal, all located in central Somalia’s Hirshabelle and Galmudug states. The areas were successfully liberated from Al-Shabaab in the last six months.
Government forces were buoyed by support from the US Africa Command, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS], regional troops, and militia who helped to displace the Al-Shabaab militants. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud had requested the international community to chip in and help with stabilization efforts.
Tiina Intelmann, the European Union Ambassador to Somalia, stated that the European Union would continue to be a friend and ally of Somalia. The second offensive against Al-Shabaab militants is due to commence soon and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has already reached out to neighboring countries for reinforcement.
In the future, the president had said, the government will consider engaging Al-Shabaab in structured dialogue only after making milestones against the group.
In Kampala, Troops Contributing Countries are discussing the future of ATMIS which includes reviewing possibilities of handing over security responsibilities to the Somali National Army.