20.06.2017. Brussels. Today the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini met with Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya.
The forthcoming general elections in Kenya on 8 August 2017 were discussed. Amina Mohamed welcomed the deployment of the EU Election Observation Mission to contribute to transparent, credible and peaceful elections, while the EU diplomat confirmed the bloc’s commitment to be a key partner of Kenya.
The EU diplomat recognised Kenya’s significant role in hosting refugees from Somalia and South Sudan and ensured that the EU will continue to support Kenya in this respect.
Mogherini underlined that Kenya is also playing a crucial role in the region in terms of peace and security. The EU will remain a staunch supporter of this work including AMISOM, the African Union peace keeping force in Somalia, in full recognition that a stable and peaceful Somalia is crucial for the security of the region and in view of a sustainable solution to the refugee situation.
As regards economic integration within East Africa and trade cooperation with the EU, they touched upon the state of play of EU-East African Community Economic Partnership Agreement.
The EU looks forward to a reinforced partnership with Kenya after the conduct of the upcoming elections in August.
A suicide car bombing and assault by Shabaab militants on two neighbouring restaurants in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu ended on the 15th of June, in the morning with 18 dead, a government spokesman said.
“The operation is over now and the gunmen were killed by the security forces,” said Mohamed Ahmed Arab, spokesman for Somalia’s security ministry.
“The EU extends its condolences to the families and friends of all those who lost loved ones and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured” says the statement of the European External Action Service.
“These terrorist acts shall not deter the path to peace and security in Somalia.”
“The European Union stands closely with the Somali federal and regional governments and security forces in their efforts to defeat terrorist activities.”
Al Shabaab’s terror attack on an army base in Puntland in Somalia has left a high number of dead and dozens injured.
In response to an invitation by the Kenyan authorities, the European Union has decided to deploy an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Kenya to observe the general elections scheduled for 8 August. Former EU EOM recommendations have played a role in promoting political dialogue and the consolidation of democracy in Kenya.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has appointed Ms. Marietje Schaake Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer.
“The EU and Kenya are log standing partners, with 2017 marking 40 years of our cooperation. This is the fourth time that the European Union observes general elections in Kenya, reflecting our common work to credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country, since our political dialogue and cooperation strategy focusses on supporting good governance. This year’s general elections are foreseen to be very competitive and we are committed to give an important contribution to the electoral process through the Electoral Observation Mission led by Chief Observer Schaake (pictured). We expect the rule of law will prevail with all parties resolving any possible election disputes through dialogue and available legal remedies” – Federica Mogherini said.
I am honoured to lead the EU EOM to Kenya. The forthcoming general elections will be another defining moment in Kenya’s democratic development. Kenya has already achieved impressive progress in terms of democratisation and good governance. I trust the Kenyan people will express their political choices in a peaceful and calm environment, thus confirming the significance of democratic institutions. The August polls can further consolidate the democratic record through well-run, transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections, with all sides refraining from any actions or statements that may incite violence”- the Chief Observer, Member of the European Parliament, Ms. Schaake (ALDE, NL), declared.
Al Shabaab militants captured a town in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region on Thursday (8.06.2017) a senior official confirmed, and the group claimed it had killed at least 61 soldiers in the assault.
“Al Shabaab attacked Af Urur town this morning. There were few soldiers there and thus al Shabaab captured the town. It is difficult to know the casualties because the telecommunications were cut off,” Bari region governor Yusuf Mohamed told Reuters.
The al Qaeda-linked group said it had also killed 61 soldiers after over-running a military base in the town.
“The number could rise since the operation is still underway,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military spokesman said in a statement.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has inaugurated a major new railway between the port city of Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said during the launch that the $3.2bn (£2.5bn) Chinese-funded line signalled a new chapter in the country.
He warned that he would authorise the execution of vandals after four people were arrested damaging sections of a guardrail.
It is Kenya’s biggest infrastructure project since independence.
“Somalia’s future matters to Europe and our support matters to Somalia,” Mogherini said. “The €200 million we have announced today strengthens the EU’s leading role in supporting the country’s development, stability and security. We already play a major role for peace in the country through the three active missions in the country as well as our support to the African Union peacekeeping mission AMISOM. We believe that the people of Somalia can and should shape the future of their country. We want Somalia to rise again – and today we demonstrate it in very practical terms.”
That is why she insisted, “the EU is ready and willing to accompany” real changes in Somalia. But “before we can make decisions about our financial support, we need to see effective coordination and burden sharing in managing this transition towards a Somali owned security system, with full participation by regional countries”. Mogherini underlined that “the money we pledge today cannot do any miracles, without strong leadership and determination from inside Somalia”.
The development funding announced today will be channelled through the European Union Trust Fund for Africa, which aims to address the root causes of destabilization, forced displacement and irregular migration. EU support will help to accelerate Somalia’s economic recovery. This will be done by supporting the reforms needed to ensure Somalia’s full re-engagement with the International Financial Institutions, access to multilateral finance and debt relief. This will also help lay the foundations for more inclusive, stable politics including a roadmap to a more inclusive electoral process in 2020.
The EU is a long standing partner to Somalia in development aid, peacekeeping operations and humanitarian aid. For the period 2015-2020, the EU and its Member States’ cooperation including development, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping operations amounts to €3.4 billion.
Today’s support package comes on top of the €286 million which the European Commission has allocated under the 11th European Development Fund (for the period 2014-2020), which focuses on strengthening state functions, improving food security and resilience as well as education for young people. EU financing is implemented mostly through grants implemented by UN agencies and international NGOs, or contributions to Trust Funds.