Summary: 25 September 2013, Brussels - Since the beginning of the hostage taking in the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi on Saturday 21 September, the EU has been engaged to provide every possible support to the people of Kenya.
On Monday 23 September, Nick Westcott, Managing Director for Africa at the European External Action Service, left Brussels for Nairobi to link up with the Government, offer the EU's solidarity and support, and discuss follow-up action to combat radicalisation and financing of terrorism, both in Kenya and in the region. The EEAS and the Commission are also liaising with international partners and organisations, including Interpol, on the possible support the EU could bring.
Terrorism is as a global threat and as such requires a comprehensive and coordinated response. The EU is a longstanding partner of the Horn of Africa in facing terrorism and remains committed to cooperating with all countries to free the region from the scourge of Al-Shabab:
- The Brussels conference co-organised by the EU and the Somali government on 16 September allowed to raise the international support for the government to implement its priorities, including combatting terrorism, as seen both from the New Deal Compact endorsed at the meeting and the financial support pledged (€1.8 billion overall).
- The EU is the first donor to AMISOM, the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia. On 9 September, the EU announced a new funding of €124 million which will cover the period of 1 June to 31 December 2013 and bring the overall EU contribution to AMISOM to almost €600 million. The EU also calls on other donors to contribute to funding for AMISOM.
- The EU's military training mission (EUTM Somalia) has trained in Uganda more than 3,000 Somali soldiers who have played an important role, alongside AMISOM, in recovering large areas of Somalia from Al Shabab control. In June 2013, the EUTM began activities, including mentoring and advising, in Mogadishu. The EUTM will contribute to the implementation of the Compact security objective to build the Somali National Army (SNA).
EU Development cooperation with Kenya
The overall EU development cooperation with Kenya for the period 2008-2013 amounts to €391 million. Development support on the country focuses on rural development and road infrastructure but also covers macro-economic support, Trade & Private Sector Development and Good governance & Non-State Actor support.
Since peace and security are essential for the development and prosperity of any countries, other initiatives linked to security have been launched in the region, of which the Kenya and its population are direct beneficiaries. One of them is a regional project on anti-money laundering and countering financial terrorism, which will strengthen the capacities of financial intelligence units and other law enforcement bodies, as well as establish closer links between relevant authorities across the region.
The EU will organise a regional seminar on countering violent extremism in Nairobi early December, which will bring together EU and national governments from the region to identify specific interventions tailored to each partner country.
The European Commission has made on 25 September 2013 an additional €25,000 of aid available to the Kenyan Red Cross Society (KRSC), its longstanding partner. This new assistance will help replenish of the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) that will support the Kenyan Red Cross society in its current efforts to give referral and blood donation services, provide community-based health care and boost the psycho-social care for the people affected by the Nairobi incident. The Commission has already contributed in recent months to strengthening the response capacity of the KRCS through capacity-building, first aid training of local volunteers, stockpiling of basic items and coordination with stakeholders. This support, for an amount of €800,000, goes on.
High Representative / Vice-President Catherine Ashton issued a statement on Sunday 22 September, condemning the attack and pledging the EU's full support to the Kenyan authorities in handling the crisis and responding to the threat. President of the Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy sent a letter to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday 23 September, expressing the EU's solidary and continued commitment.
On Monday 16 September, the EU co-organised an international conference in Brussels on 'A new deal for Somalia' to support the re-establishment of a stable government, proper security and the rule of law in the country. €1.8 billion were pledged, including an additional €650 million from the European Commission.
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