EUCAP Somalia: new Head of mission appointed

Today, Christopher Reynolds was appointed Head of the EU capacity building mission in Somalia, EUCAP Somalia. He takes over from Maria-Cristina Stepanescu (from Romania) who was the Head of mission since 1 September 2016.

Christopher Reynolds, an Irish national, has been Deputy Head of the mission and Chief of Staff since January 2019. In 2016-2017, he was the mission’s Head of Operations. He previously served in the Irish Navy and in the Irish Coast Guard.

EUCAP Somalia’s mandate is to enhance Somalia’s maritime civilian law enforcement capacity through supporting the Somali authorities in developing the necessary legislation, strengthening the criminal justice chain in the maritime domain, and providing training and equipment. The mission also provides advice on policy to the Somalia ministry of internal security and to the police, in support of initiatives from the EU and international partners.

The mission’s mandate currently runs until 31 December 2020. It has a budget of € 66.1 million for the period 1 January 2019 until 31 December 2020 and consists of 111 staff from 19 countries (93 international staff and 18 local staff). It is based in Mogadishu and has field offices in Garowe (Puntland) and Hargeisa (Somaliland).

EUCAP Somalia is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to Somalia, which comprises diplomatic efforts, development support, humanitarian aid as well as engagement in the field of rule of law and law enforcement. It includes two complementary missions under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy: EUNAVFOR Operation ATALANTA contributing to fighting piracy off the Somali coast, and EUTM Somalia providing political and strategic level military advice to the Somali authorities and contributing to the development of the Somali National Army (SNA)’s own training capacity.