Summary: 15 September 2008, Brussels – Council of the European Union, 2888th GENERAL AFFAIRS Council meeting, 15 September 2008, Conclusions on Somalia
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
"1. The Council remains gravely concerned at the situation in Somalia and off its coasts. With reference to its conclusions of 26 May, 16 June and 22 July 2008, the Council reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive approach to a lasting settlement of the Somali crisis, covering its political, security and humanitarian aspects.
2. The Council welcomes the official signing by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) in Djibouti on 19 August 2008 of the peace agreement initialled by the two sides on 9 June 2008. It confirms its interest in providing European Union support for the agreement's implementation. It calls on all parties to join the political process in order to allow a swift return to peace, security, stability and development in Somalia. The Council also welcomes the efforts made by the TFG and the ARS to relaunch the political process under the aegis of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General.
3. The Council reaffirms its willingness to continue the European Union's engagement in Somalia, in particular by increased support for the capacity of the Somali police to combat abuses and serious human rights violations and enable the TFG to participate in implementing the Djibouti agreement as regards security. The Council would point to the substantial support given to AMISOM by the EU and its Member States and is prepared to help continue to provide such support. The Council welcomes the presidential statement from the United Nations Security Council on 5 September 2008.
4. The Council deplores the continuing deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Somalia and expresses its concern at the difficulties in reaching the civilian population and at the security conditions which affect the work of humanitarian agencies. It reaffirms the EU's determination to continue its efforts in this area.
5. The Council also reaffirms its serious concern at the acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast and deplores in particular their recent resurgence. As regards the European Union's contribution to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1816 on combating piracy off the Somali coast and to the protection, under Resolutions 1814 and 1816, of vessels chartered by the World Food Programme (WFP) and bound for Somalia, the Council has decided to establish, in the next few days, a coordination unit in Brussels with the task of supporting the surveillance and protection activities carried out by some Member States off the Somali coast. To that end, it has approved a plan for implementing this military coordination action (EU NAVCO).
6. In this context, the Council has also approved a strategic military option for a possible European Union naval operation. The Council would like to see the current planning work press ahead."