EU to Fund Peace Programs in the Horn of Africa

Brussels, Friday, September 29, 2017 (MFA Press) — Kenya is among countries in the Horn of Africa that will receive approximately 4.1 billion Euros from the European Union to fund commercial related programs that are linked to promoting peace, security and post-conflict reconstruction in the region. The allocation that has already been approved by EU Parliament will be administered directly by the EU External Action Service- the equivalent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  A steering committee Group at senior official levels will be set up to develop political and delivery framework for the joint action.    

The announcement was made Friday, September 29, 2017 in Brussels during an informal Ministerial meeting between Foreign Ministers of International Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) member states and Mrs. Federica Mogherini, the Vice- President & High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed attended the informal meeting accompanied by Amb. Johnson Weru – Kenya envoy to the EU, and Amb. Martin Kimani, Director National Counter Terrorism Center in Nairobi. The meeting was also attended by Amb. Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD and Mr. Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

This was the Mrond informal meeting between Mrs Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers for Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda after a meeting held in March 2017 in the margins of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

The meeting focuses on the multiple challenges affecting the security, stability and prosperity of the Horn of Africa ranging from protracted conflicts and transnational crime to irregular migration and poor economic development.

Mrs. Mogherini reiterated the EU’s continued engagement and support to the security and stability of the Horn, through close political ties and the EU’s substantial cooperation and security commitments, including through its EUCAP Somalia and ATALANTA missions. Both sides agreed to reinforce collaboration on transnational crime, maritime security and border management, in full respect of the rule of law and protection and of human rights.

They also exchanged views on concrete avenues for cooperation on cross border trade and investment through EU instruments and programmes, notably the new EU External Investment Plan launched yesterday.

The EU commended Igad’s important initiatives to manage the reconciliation processes in Somalia and South Sudan and welcomed IGAD’s Summit decision to revitalize the peace process in South Sudan in June.  At the same time the EU high representative emphasized the need for closer regional cooperation to face common transboundary challenges.

Both sided concurred on the crucial importance of Somalia’s security and state building progress for the stability of the region. The EU Reiterated its support for the AMISOM mission while highlighting the need for fairer burden sharing of the international community and a gradual ownership by the region.

In dedicated discussions on the humanitarian situation in the Horn, Commissioner Stylianides welcomed the solidarity shown by several countries in the Horn hosting millions of refugees. Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed reiterated the need for burden sharing as a way of supporting each other in the repatriation process.

“The success of the Nairobi Action Plan is anchored on the willingness of all stakeholders to mobilize needed resources and to stick to the commitments undertaken during the Nairobi Summit” She said. The Nairobi summit was about domestication of New York Declaration for refugees and migrants.

The meeting agreed on the importance of providing unhindered humanitarian access to people in need and for Governments to recognize any occurring crisis without delay, to ensure an effective and timely assistance that avoids further sufferings.

The High Representative commended IGAD for the Special Summit on finding Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees, held in March 2017 and for IGAD Member States’ commitment to collaborate across the region on the refugees’ plight. In a dedicated session on the Nairobi Plan of Action, all sides agreed to accelerate support to Somalia to create an environment conducive for returns and refugees who cannot yet go back to integrate into the economic life of their host communities.

Both sides reaffirmed their willingness to ensure a substantial outcome of the upcoming AU-EU summit to be held in Ivory Coast in November 2017.