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Somalia is currently experiencing serious drought and famine Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP/Press Association Images
Somalia

Irish colonel to head EU training of Somali security forces

The training will take place in Uganda and also involves the cooperation of the United Nations, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Uganda and the United States of America.

AN IRISH COLONEL, Michael Beary, has been appointed Mission Commander for the EU Mission to train Somali Security Forces in Uganda.

Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter TD approved his nomination, followed by the European Council.

This is the second time Ireland has headed up an EU military mission, the last one being the EU Mission in Chad and the Central African Republic, which was headed up by Lt Col Pat Nash.

The Minister said it was an “honour” for Ireland to again be asked to head up an important EU mission and that “enhancing the capacity of the Somali authorities to provide for their own security is the only real solution to the problems of lawlessness within the country and piracy on its seas”.

This training mission was launched on 7 April 2010 and involves the cooperation of the United Nations, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Uganda and the United States of America.

The EUTM in Somalia involves around 150 personnel, from fourteen EU member states and is currently being led by Spain.

Ireland will take over the Mission Commander role from Colonel Ricardo Gonzalez Elul of the Spanish Armed Forces at the beginning of September.

As mission commander, Colonel Beary – who was first appointed an officer of the Infantry Corps in 1975 – will be responsible for managing all aspects of the mission.

Minister Shatter said:

This is a very high profile post in an important mission for the EU and for Ireland and is further recognition of the high standing of the Defence Forces internationally in the field of peace support operations. Taking on this post demonstrates Ireland’s strong support for the EU Common Security and Defence Policy and reflects the current Government policy for a positive re-engagement with the Union.
In taking on the role in these difficult economic times, Ireland has received fulsome support from many partners right across the Union and I would like to acknowledge the depth of that support and to thank our EU partners for that.

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