At the end of the summer the EU will launch a new training mission to help countries in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean to build adequate capacities for fighting piracy and strengthening maritime security in their territorial seas. The 175-strong EU (Common Security and Defence Policy) mission, named EUCAP Nestor, will be operating for an initial period of two years, with a budget of 22.8 million euro.
The aim of the mission is not to combat pirates directly, but to enable states in the region to do so themselves, by helping them to police their coastal zones and to pursue pirates.
"Under the leadership of the countries themselves, I hope that EUCAP Nestor will create lasting solutions to the scourge of piracy", said EU High Representative Catherine Ashton.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian mission augmented with some military (naval) expertise. Its headquarters will be in Djibouti. It will initially provide training in Djibouti, Kenya, the Seychelles and Somalia, and could be extended to Tanzania later.
The mission will carry out two main tasks:
• strengthening the rule of law sector in Somalia by training coastal police forces and judges;
• strengthening the seagoing maritime capacities of other countries in the region.
It will give expert advice on legal, policy and operational matters concerning maritime security and help procure the necessary equipment.
The advisory and training activities will be carried out by active-service personnel from EU member states.
Admiral Jacques Launay, who has been appointed head of the mission, says the activities will be phased in gradually. The first team of experts should be deployed at the beginning of September.
The activities are adapted to specific needs of each of the host states, where the country teams will conduct on-the-job and on-location training.
EUCAP Nestor is part of the EU's broader policy in the region (cf. EU's Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa) aimed at creating greater peace, stability and prosperity through a wide range of actions, encompassing political, diplomatic, development, security and humanitarian dimensions.
"It is the (…) policy of the European Union (…) that the only way by which piracy will be eventually eliminated, is to address the source of instability, which is generating piracy," said Alexander Rondos, the EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa.
By enabling governments to enhance maritime security in their territorial seas, the mission should also have a positive effect on the overall security of the local population. This in turn should help revive economic activities such as fishing and tourism, now seriously affected by piracy and other maritime security problems, such as smuggling and trafficking.
The new mission will complement Europe's ongoing efforts in the region – the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) operation "Atalanta" and the EU training mission in Somalia.
The EU will carry out this mission in strategic partnership with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
EUCAP Nestor website