Djibouti – On 28 May 2014 the Secretary General of the Djibouti Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Ali Hassan, visited EU mission EUCAP Nestor that has its regional Headquarter in Djibouti. He was welcomed by the Head of Mission, Etienne de Poncins, and by the acting EU Civilian Operations Commander, General Gilles Janvier, who arrived from Brussels to support the mission after the attacks that happened in Djibouti on Saturday, 24 May.
“The past days have been very proving for all mission members and I am grateful to Djibouti authorities for their professionalism and their strong support” said the EU CivOps Commander Janvier upon arrival to the mission HQ.
After the terrible attack that happened on Saturday, 24 May in Djibouti, the visit of the Secretary General was a sign to show the support of the Djiboutian Government to the Mission in these difficult times and for the Mission the opportunity to explain that the operations of EUCAP Nestor in Djibouti and the region will continue .
“First of all, I would like to thank the Djiboutian Authorities for their professional support and help in this difficult moment for the mission” said the Head of Mission of EUCAP Nestor, Etienne de Poncins, in his welcoming speech. “The terrorist attacks in Djibouti on Saturday have struck us all, and as a mission we particularly suffered as three of our mission members were badly injured in the incident”. “I would like to emphasise that despite the attack, we will continue our operations and Djibouti remains crucial to our mission and to our work in the region. All of our activities are planned from Djibouti and many of them, such as the ongoing six-weeks basic training course for members of the Puntland Port Police and the Galmudug Coast Guard as well as an upcoming Regional Prosecutors’ workshop and a Regional Maritime Security Conference are carried out in Djibouti with the valuable support from Djibouti Authorities.”
The intention of the visit of the Secretary General was also to meet with local and international mission members to discuss the work of the mission. It also offered an opportunity to meet the 13 Djiboutian members of the mission EUCAP Nestor, which are supporting the Mission in the Administration, Human Resources, as well as in Logistics. By direct conversation and discussion the SG MFA got inside impression about the working conditions for the local personnel.
In his speech, the SG said “The visit to EUCAP Nestor HQ was planned since several weeks, initially with the aim to meet the Djiboutian and International members of the team. The tragic incident of last Saturday has given my visit an additional objective, which is to show our full support to the activities of the mission and to pass a message of solidarity in this difficult moment.”
Djibouti is not only the place where the Mission Headquarter is located but also the place from where most of the activities of the mission are initiated and from which all of the operations in the region (Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles and in the future possibly Yemen) are controlled. Here the mission has about 70% of its international personnel (62) and more than 90% of its national personnel (13 out of 15 in total) to support the activities of the mission.
Four mission members are fully dedicated to the activities of the mission in Djibouti, the Djibouti Country Team, led by the Country team leader and three embedded experts. The three experts are embedded within Navy, Coast Guard and Ministry of Justice and have excellent working relations with their respective counterparts.
To intensify cooperation with DJI authorities, the establishment of a Technical Working Group is intended. Purpose is to improve with support of EUCAP Nestor the coordination and exchange of information between different departments and Djibouti institutions working in the maritime security field, including anti-piracy activities.