Ethiopia: Somalia government, AUC seek international support to crush Al Shaabab

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The Federal Government of Somalia and the African Union Commission (AUC) on Thursday expressed concern that the militant  Al Shaabab group remains a serious threat to the Horn of Africa country and the region.

In this respect, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat underscored the importance of international support to Somalia security forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in regaining territorial control of Al Shaabab-held areas, especially in the Jubba Valley Corridor and the northeast coastline.

President Mohamed and Mr. Mahamat met at the AUC headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to renew the strong partnership between the African Union and the Federal Government of Somalia in the political, security and humanitarian areas, and in the overall promotion of peace, stability and reconciliation in Somalia.

A statement issued after the meeting said the Commission congratulated the Government of Somalia on the recent signing of the Somali National Security Architecture, "which offers a sound foundation for the establishment of capable national security institutions."

With regard to security issues, the AUC stressed the need for continuous political dialogue, and the central role of the AU, working with international partners, in the effective implementation of the Architecture.

The Commission also welcomed the political reconciliation process initiated by the Federal Government of Somalia with the federal member states and expressed its full support to the Government’s efforts to consolidate agreements on resource allocation, corruption and the development of robust and inclusive national security institutions.

According to the statement, the Commission further expressed support to and the need for the completion of the constitutional review process in Somalia and, the implementation of local reconciliation processes including those associated with border disputes between communities.

As part of these efforts, the Federal Government of Somalia and the Commission called for the lifting of the United Nations Security Council authorized arms embargo taking into account relevant accountability and compliance measures.

"This is consistent with calls made by the AU Peace and Security Council and is an important step for building viable national security institutions in Somalia, which will in turn accelerate AMISOM’s exit strategy," the two sides emphasized.

Expressing its determination to mobilise the African continent and the international community to provide additional assistance to address the dire humanitarian situation in Somalia, the AUC also affirmed its commitment to work with other strategic partners in ensuring a holistic response to the humanitarian crisis.

The Government of Somalia has expressed deep appreciation to the AU and the troop and police contributing countries for the sacrifices made over the last decade in the restoration of peace, security and stability in Somalia.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed stated his full support to AMISOM in its role in the political process and the operations against Al Shaabab.

In this respect, both the Government of Somalia and the Commission agreed to finalise and endorse the revised Status of Mission Agreement for AMISOM by July 2017.

The meeting concluded with a consensus between the Government of Somalia and the AUC "to reinforce their partnership in pursuit of sustainable peace and security in Somalia by establishing a Joint African Union-Somalia Taskforce to follow up and report on the implementation of agreed outcomes of the meeting."

It was also agreed that the upcoming London conference on Somalia offers a platform to ensure that there is a clear recognition and common understanding of the centrality of the African Union-Somalia partnership in the coordinated support by international partners to the Somali security sector and the broader peace and stabilization efforts in Somalia.

This meeting was preceded by Mr. Mahamat's visit to Mogadishu on 18 March 2017, following his inauguration as the Chairperson of the AUC.
-0- PANA AR 4May2017

04 may 2017 17:09:33

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