Irish general to lead EU efforts in Somalia
AN Irish general is to spearhead efforts to set up a permanent EU military presence in strife-torn Somalia, writes Tom Brady.
Brigadier General Ger Aherne takes up his role tomorrow as head of the EU military training mission, which is preparing the Somali armed forces to take over security responsibilities.
But security risks up to now have forced the mission to be based in neighbouring Uganda, where another Irish officer, Col Michael Beary, has been in charge for the past 17 months.
So far, the mission has contributed to training about 3,000 Somalian troops and is part of the EU's plan to help establish a stable, democratic country.