On 7th May EUTM Somalia declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of it Mentoring Advisory and Training Element (MATE) Headquarters in Mogadishu International Airport (MIA). This was followed by the official launch on 15th of May as part of Schuman day celebrations in Mogadishu.
The MATE HQ which consists of Command and Support Element includes a Serbian Role 1 medical facility and a civilian Role 2 medical facility. To date the MATE HQ consists of personnel from. Finland, Italy, Ireland, Spain and the United kingdom. These will be quickly followed by an Italian Security Support Element and the initial deployment of Mentors and Advisors
The President of National Federal Government, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, was the guest of honour at the official launch of EUTM Somalia which was also attended by local military and civilian authorities together with considerable EU diplomatic representation.
Addressing a representative military body consisting of both EU and Somali personnel, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud described the event as a "paradigm shift in relations" between the European Union and Somalia. Mohamud said in an official statement, "Our partnership with the European Union is of immense value and has proved that recruitment from across the clans, disciplined training and effective deployment of good soldiers is totally achievable," He confirmed that "Security is the priority concern to everyone and indeed an essential prerequisite for further progress in all spheres of government and development,". "But our forces today lack critical capability and suffer a critical shortage of equipment and supplies that restrict our capacity to protect ourselves."
The Mission Commander Brig Gen Aherne and the EU Special Envoy to Somalia Ambassador Michele Cervone D’Urso responded on behalf of the European Union.
On 22nd January 2013, after the approval by the Members States, EUTM Somali received a third and completely new Mandate. As part the new Mandate EUTM Somalia will relocate activities to Mogadishu on phased basis. Specialist Training will continue in Bihanga Training Camp for now, but it is anticipated that all activities will have moved to Mogadishu by 2014.
EUTM Somalia personnel in Mogadishu will provide political and strategic advice to the Somali Ministry of Defence and the Chief of Defence forces, advice on security sector development as well as providing specialised military training and mentoring in the training domain.
The move to Mogadishu is not an objective in itself. It is the logical follow-on of a changing political landscape and the consequence of success in creating the security conditions in Mogadishu thanks to the outstanding joint commitment of AMISOM and SNAF.
The new Mandate implies a significant change of focus of EUTM activities towards Somalia. In accordance with Somali needs, and in full coordination with other main stakeholders (UN, AMISOM, and the AU).
EU is the main donor in Somalia. EU and other countries had agreed to contribute to help Somalia rebuild its security forces so they could tackle insurgents and criminal networks.The political objective of this CSDP action is to further contribute to strengthening the SNG as a functioning government to emerge out of fragility and to empower the new institutions to serve Somali citizens.
EUTM Somalia deployment responds to Somali authorities’ request and is fully in line with UNSC relevant resolutions. EUTM Somalia will promote Somali ownership.