Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Welcoming the outcome of the recent London conference on Somalia, the African Union Peace and Security Council on Friday stressed the need to maintain the current international momentum towards the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia.
In a press statement issued after a meeting Friday and obtained by PANA here, the council said it had been fully briefed on the outcome of the London conference, held on 23 February.
“Council noted with satisfaction that the steps agreed to at the Conference would go a long way in furthering peace and reconciliation in Somalia, as well as establishing greater stability and security for the region and beyond,” the press release said, adding “Council expressed AU’s appreciation to the UK Government, particularly Prime Minister David Cameron, for taking this initiative in support of AU’s efforts in Somalia.”
According to the statement, the council is looking forward to the upcoming Istanbul Conference on Somalia as a way of maintaining the current international momentum on the issue.
The council also called on the Somali political leadership to “honor fully the commitments made” to complete the transition on time and put in place a more representative and inclusive political dispensation.
It welcomed the adoption, by the Security Council on 22 February, 2012, of resolution 2036 (2012), which significantly enhances the UN support package to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM),.
In particular, the resolution supports the decision of the Council, at its 306th meeting held on 5 January, 2012, to increase AMISOM’s force strength from 12,000 to 17,731.
It is also an important step towards building an innovative and forward-looking partnership to address the daunting challenges of peace and security in Africa.
The “Council expressed deep appreciation to the UN Security Council members and to the UN Secretary-General for their support and commitment to promoting lasting peace and reconciliation in Somalia."
According to the press statement, the Council reiterated its appreciation to AMISOM and to the Ethiopian forces for the continued gains being made on the ground in support of the Somali security forces, including the recent advances in the Mogadishu area and the liberation of the city of Baidoa.
The “Council looks forward to the outcome of the meeting of the Chiefs of Defense Staff of AMISOM TCCs and other interested countries, taking place Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in order to formally establish the Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC), as recommended in the AMISOM Strategic Concept.
-0- PANA MO/VAO 9March2012