Last updated in April 2017

Political relations

Since 2012, following the formation of the first Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic based on the Transitional Federal Charter, bilateral relations have gained positive momentum. On 26 February 2013, Margit Hellwig-Bötte was accredited to Somalia, making her the first accredited German Ambassador to Somalia in 24 years. On 3 February 2016, the current German Ambassador, Jutta Frasch, presented her credentials to then President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. In October 2014, the Day of German Unity was celebrated for the very first time in Mogadishu.

Germany is a welcome partner in Somalia. Conversely, Germany is keen to see a secure, stable and democratic Somalia.

Given this situation, German engagement in Somalia takes the following form:

Humanitarian aid, transitional aid and support for returnees: The provision of support to the Somali population through emergency aid measures has continued uninterrupted and remains vital to many people there. In 2017, a total of 58.6 million euros in funding was pledged for new projects in the following areas: emergency and transitional aid, support for returnees and resilience-building measures. The partners implementing the projects are the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH as well as private German and international aid organisations. The German Government also contributes to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). In addition, it provides support to Somali refugees, especially those living in the large refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) funded a thematically related special initiative through a GIZ programme to reintegrate refugees and promote cooperation with the receiving communities in southern Somalia. In 2016, Germany provided 38 million euros in humanitarian assistance to Somalia.

Development cooperation: In September 2013, the so-called Somalia Pact between the Somali government and the international community was agreed on in Brussels as part of the New Deal for Somalia process. This sets out a roadmap for the stabilisation and economic reconstruction of the country. The international community has pledged 1.6 billion euros in support up to 2016, with Germany contributing more than 100 million euros. A small portion of this funding has already been used for rural development by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Thematically, the focus is on the Somali economic reconstruction priorities in the following sectors: water supply, agriculture and infrastructure. In line with the New Deal approach, multilateral or multi-donor funding instruments are to be used at the same time. The government in Mogadishu is the principal negotiation partner here. The projects are being implemented in close coordination with the respective authorities of the sub-regions. The coordination structure for international support of the Somalia Pact, which had been quite successful on the whole, expired at the end of last year. A successor structure is supposed to be in place by mid-2017.

Germany is making a significant contribution to the creation of a federal state structure in Somalia. This support for the federalisation process takes the form of a network of advisers to the National Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of the Interior as well as to all state governments (except for that of Somaliland, which claims independence). The German Government, in collaboration with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), is also implementing a project aimed at establishing a federal police structure. This work is complemented, at central reference points of the federal government, through development assistance for HirShabelle, Somalia’s youngest and weakest state. The German Government also initiated a mediation process to resolve a conflict between two states that had been hampering the federalisation process.

Germany supported the nationwide electoral process in Somalia, which was concluded in February 2017, and is also providing democratisation assistance to the state of Somaliland in preparation for the elections slated to take place there in October 2018.

Security cooperation

Germany is helping to fund the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) through its payments to the United Nations budget via the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS). Germany’s share of the funding being provided to AMISOM through the European Union’s African Peace Facility (APF), already totalling more than one billion euros and currently approximately 250 million euros annually, amounts to about 20 percent.

Germany is involved in all European Union missions in the Horn of Africa being conducted under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP): the European Union Training Mission for Somalia (EUTM SOM); the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia, formerly EUCAP NESTOR) to train the region’s coast guards; and the European Union Naval Force ATALANTA (EU NAVFOR) to combat piracy.

To help Somalia fulfil its obligations under the sanctions regime of the United Nations Security Council, the German Government is funding the construction of armouries that meet international standards and the training of personnel to ensure the safe storage and management of the Somali armed forces’ weapons and ammunition.

Last but not least, the German Government is helping to facilitate the civilian reintegration of former al-Shabaab fighters. Working together with the local authorities and with German financial support, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) oversees centres in Baidoa and Kismayo that enable them to make the transition to normal life and supervise the process of reconciliation with the local population.

Economic relations

Economic relations are practically non-existent owing to the lack of proper conditions for doing business.

Pirates detained off the Somali coast

Mission Atalanta: Combatting Piracy off the Somalian coast

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