The European Union’s capacity building mission to for East African states, EUCAP NESTOR, is making headway according to the head of the mission.
EUCAP NESTOR began in 2012, comprising of 137 international staff and 39 local staff. It is primarily a civilian mission, but is supported by military experts. The aim of EUCAP NESTOR is to assist the development of the collective maritime security apparatus of East Africa.
French Admiral Jacques Launay, who heads the mission, recently spoke about its progress: “We have made some progress, but we still have a way to go… It is complex because we have to deal with so many different administrations.”
The initial budget for EUCAP NESTOR was 4 million Euro, and so far operations have taken place in Djibouti, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania. The budget has since been increased to 12 million Euro, as the operation is planned to draw to a close in December of 2014. Currently there are 16 European Union member nations contributing funding or personnel to the effort.
The specific focus of the project is to help Somali develop some semblance of maritime governance, including a cost guard or coastal police. The nonexistence of any maritime governance (or any governance at all) by Somalia is viewed as the root cause of the piracy that has plagued the Indian Ocean in recent years.