On 9 January, Director General Kauko Aaltomaa, who is on leave of absence from the Police Department of the Ministry of the Interior, took up his duties as Head of Mission of the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia). EUCAP Somalia is a civilian crisis management mission under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy. Its tasks include promoting maritime security in Somalia and supporting the building of the country’s police and judicial administrations.
Over the past year, a new President and Government have been elected in Somalia, and their actions have broadly increased optimism that the situation in the country will develop positively. The Somali armed forces and security forces have pushed the terrorist organisation al-Shabaab out of central parts of the state in particular, paving the way towards a more normal daily life. On the other hand, extreme drought makes conditions difficult. Therefore, the international community needs to make great efforts to further improve the security situation and people’s living conditions,” says Aaltomaa.
Finnish experts have participated in EUCAP Somalia since the start of the mission in 2012. The total staff of the mission is 222, including advisers from 22 EU Member States and locally contracted experts. The Mission is based in Mogadishu with field offices in Somaliland and Puntland, and a back-office in Nairobi, Kenya. Kauko Aaltomaa is the first Finnish Head of Mission.
Previously Aaltomaa worked as Head of Operations for the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) in Brussels from 2021 to 2022. The CPCC is part of the European External Action Service. From 2017 to 2020, he was Head of Mission for the European Union Police and Rule of Law Mission for the Palestinian Territory (EUPOL COPPS). He has also worked in UN missions in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Director General Aaltomaa has worked for 40 years in the Finnish Police and the Ministry of the Interior. During his career, Aaltomaa has worked as the Police Commissioner of the Provincial Police Command of Southern Finland and Deputy Director in the National Bureau of Investigation.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.