Ethiopia: AU reiterates call to UN Security Council to lift arms embargo on Somalia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - While pondering the exit strategy for the African  peacekeeping force in Somalia, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) has reiterated its call to the UN Security Council to consider lifting the arms embargo imposed on Somalia as contained in UNSC resolution 2244 (2015).

The resolution was taken as a critical aspect of building capable Somalia security institutions, and to ensure that the criteria for the provision of arms is commensurate with the prevailing state of bureaucracy in Somalia.

At its 622nd meeting held on 6 September 2016, the PSC also stressed the need for the Federal Government of Somali (FGS) to ensure the highest degree of responsibility in the management, storage and security of stockpiles of arms.

During the session, held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the PSC endorsed the AU Commission Chairperson's Report on Somalia, expressing satisfaction in the steps taken by the Commission and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) towards the effective implementation of the 2016 revised Concept of Operations (CONOPs).

According to the communiqué, which the Council made available to PANA on Friday, the PSC has reiterated "the importance of an AMISOM exit strategy based on the indicative timelines set in the 2016 revised CONOPs and stresses the need for the AU Commission to commence a stocktaking exercise in light of the upcoming ten-year anniversary of the deployment of AMISOM."

The CONOPs was adopted by the Council during its 608th meeting held on 29 June 2016.

"In this regard," the communiqué said, "Council requests the AU Commission to conduct comprehensive lessons exercise, which will identify progress made, challenges encountered and more importantly recommend options on the way forward in the future of AMISOM, including the Mission Exit Strategy.

"Furthermore, Council requests that a report on these lessons learned be submitted to Council for its consideration not later than December 2016."

In addition, the PSC has renewed its appreciation to the Troop and Police Contributing Countries (T/PCCs) namely Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda for their huge sacrifices and continued commitment in support of peace, security and stability in Somalia.

In particular, the Council welcomed the efforts by AMISOM and the Somalia National Security Force (SNSF) to renew offensive operations towards degrading the capabilities of Al Shabaab terrorist group while also promoting security for upcoming elections.

Underlining the importance of the deployment of air assets to support AMISOM operations, the Council took note of the efforts by the AU Commission, the UN as well as efforts by Ethiopia and Kenya in the conduct of inspection visits and through negotiations on the finalization of Tripartite Letters of Assist (LOAs), which will facilitate the deployment of the assets.

"Council encourages all stakeholders to ensure that finalization and deployment of these assets, without further delay, given the critical phase of AMISOM current operations," said the communiqué.
-0- PANA AR/MA 9Sept2016

09 september 2016 09:32:08

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