Folke Bernadotte Academy – Swedish agency for peace, security and development

Julia Kempny

Political adviser in Somalia

Julia Kempny is on secondment from FBA to the EU Capacity Building Mission in Somalia, where she works as political adviser. She is stationed at the mission headquarters in Mogadishu.

For almost 40 years, Somalia has been plagued by violence and insurgency. But with international support, for example from the EU, Somalia is now rebuilding itself.

Julia, how would you describe a regular week at work?

The best thing about my job is how diverse it is. One day I sit behind my computer scanning news articles or Twitter to keep abreast of current political and security developments in order to inform and advise senior management on pertinent issues. The next day I am accompanying my head of mission to various meetings with Somali interlocutors in Mogadishu. I also attend meetings with embassies and international organizations, or travel to our field offices in Puntland and Somaliland.

Can you tell us more about the mission that you work for?

–  The EU has three missions deployed in Somalia. The EU Training Mission assists the Somali National Army. The civilian EU Capacity Building Mission, which I work for, was established to complement the EU Naval Force Atalanta’s military anti-piracy operations in order to build Somali coast guard capabilities. This is necessary to protect Somalia’s long coastline against acts of piracy and illegal fishing. A functioning coast guard will go a long way to ensure that Somalia can use its ocean resources in the best way possible, to create jobs and to provide the population with food.

What is the situation like in Somalia at the moment?

Somalia still has a long way to go in order to achieve peace and security for all its citizens. The inhabitants are increasingly driven into deeper poverty due to widespread desertification, drought and other effects of climate change. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is practised in almost every household in Somalia, with girls as young as five undergoing the torturous procedure. It is not uncommon for FGM victims to bleed to death. The population is deeply traumatized after decades of brutal war. Since February 2017, however, an elected government is in place. And for the first time ever, the Somali National Army is starting to plan offensive military operations to free the country from the terror group Al-Shabaab. They are advised and assisted by the international community, including the EU. These are all signs that Somalia is looking at an upwards trajectory.

Photo: UN Photo

Learn more about our impact in the field

Catalina Perdomo Rodriguez

Gender adviser in the DRC

Read more about Catalina

Johan Chytraeus

Monitoring officer in Ukraine

Read more about Johan

Karolina Riedel

Statistician in election observation missions

Read more about Karolina

Adam Bergman

Adviser to the UN in Nigeria

Read more about Adam

Mimmi Milligan

Reintegration adviser in Geneva

Read more about Mimmi

Björn Tedeman

Election observer

Read more about Björn

MORE FROM HOME

FBA at the Almedalen Week 2019

During this year’s Almedalen Week in Visby, Sweden, FBA will organize a series of seminars with relevance to peace, security and development.

2019-06-25 15:29

IN THE FIELD

Read our publications

Image description

Community-Based Reintegration Support in Eastern DRC

Since the mid-1990s, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been plagued by a nearly unbroken series of interrelated conflicts. Over time, conflicts in eastern DRC have evolved from large-scale interstate wars to predominately local conflict. Ongoing approaches to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) in the region have not co-evolved to suit the current context of local conflict dynamics.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
FBA
Year:
2019

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Susanna Rudehill

    Are we making the link between peace and gender equality in Mali?

    We are approaching the twentieth anniversary of resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. This groundbreaking resolution was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council, the highest decision-making body on international peace and security, in 2000. It recognizes the specific needs of women and girls in crisis situations and the key role women can play for peace in their countries.

    The resolution is based on the simple conclusion that peace is not possible without the involvement of ... Read entire post »

    2019-06-13 14:44
  • Posted by Anna Möller-Loswick

    “If men are better mediators, why is there always chaos in our countries?”

    At the beginning of May, I arrived in Oslo to attend this year’s annual meeting for the Nordic Women Mediators Network (NWM). The NWM consists of five Nordic networks of women with significant experience and expertise relevant to conflict mediation, peacebuilding and negotiations. The NWM meets at least once a year to share experiences and explore avenues for collaboration to promote women’s role in peace processes.

    This year, the Norwegian network hosted the annual NWM meeting, which ... Read entire post »

    2019-06-05 10:26
  • Posted by Juliana Huus

    In Liberia, security is everybody’s business

    According to the FBA’s definition, security sector reform (SSR) is a concept that frames technical reforms within a political process.

    I think back two weeks to when I was in Liberia, reciting the for me now very familiar but abstract above sentence. The participants in the room, 16 program officers from the Liberian National Security Council Secretariat, were repeating this sentence with me in unison.

    For the past four days, we had tried to unpack this sentence in ... Read entire post »

    2019-05-09 16:04
Photo

Taleb Sobeh

Taleb is expert on Iraq and Palestine

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Photo

Our partner countries

FBA is part of Sweden’s development aid within the area of peace and security

Read more about the countries where we work

Twitter