Ethiopia: AU, partners consider exit strategy for peacekeeping force in Somalia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) -  An exit strategy and transition plan for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) with a clear roadmap should be put in place for the Somali security forces to assume their primary responsibility, a high-level consultation on the future of the AU peacekeeping force agreed on Thursday.

The consultation, chaired by AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui at the AU headquarters, also considered support to security sector institutions and reform in Somalia ahead of the London Conference, scheduled for May 2017.  

According to a statement issued by the Peace and Security Division of the AU Commission, the meeting was attended by  senior representatives of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, European Union, United Nations, and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.

It sought to exchange views and garner political consensus on the critical security and security-building tasks in the coming period, identification of responsibilities for priority tasks, and options for appropriate funding.

Strong Somalia ownership, accountability, and a clear vision based on an inclusive political agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states, consistent with an inclusive national security architecture, should be part of an inclusive and consensual political framework underpinning international support.

In the view of the meeting, the AU, IGAD and relevant international partners would continue to facilitate dialogue between Somalia and its neighbouring states.

Also underpinning international support for the country would be greater political responsibility and mutual accountability between the Federal Government of Somalia and broadly defined international partners, the meeting observed.  
    
AMISOM’s role would continue to be relevant beyond 2018 but it was further recommended that support should be based on burden sharing.

The meeting discussed the need for supporting AMISOM and non-AMISOM troops (through the provision of fuel, rations, medical and transport), for a limited period of six months, in the conduct of simultaneous offensive operations in the Jubba Valley corridor and the northeast coastline of Somalia.

"Enhanced coordination of support by international partners to security institutions in Somalia is imperative. In this respect, consideration should be given to the development of an enhanced cooperation through agreed arrangements on how partners provide support to the security sector and institution building in Somalia," said the statement.

It indicated that the upcoming joint AU-UN review should provide an opportunity for the redefinition of tasks, as well as options for the reconfiguration of AMISOM and the partnership between the two organizations which will be central in the future presence of AMISOM.  

In addition, the meeting took note of the AU recommendation that the UN should consider the possibility of enhanced UN participation in the substantive civilian component functions of AMISOM, including the prospect for a joint Special Representative for Somalia and the full support to AMISOM uniformed personnel through UN-assessed contributions.  

The consultative meeting expressed its commitment to support Somalia on its road towards recovery, and paid tribute to AMISOM troops and police contributing countries and the international community for their dedicated support and sacrifices in the promotion of reconciliation, peace, and stability in Somalia.  
-0- PANA AR 23March2017

23 march 2017 19:56:10




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