Tanzania: AU-UN Mission says ground not ready for blue berets to land in Somalia

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) – Conditions are not yet met for the deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation in Somalia, according to the Joint AU-UN Mission which has reviewed the benchmarks for deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission and operations of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

While acknowledging the tremendous progress made on the ground, the Joint Mission has highlighted many remaining challenges, according to a press statement issued Tuesday by the AU Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa.

The challenges, it said, related to the continued ability of the Al Shabaab terrorist group to disrupt the ongoing political process, through attacks against the Federal Government of Somalia and its security forces, as well as against AMISOM, the UN and civilians.

The Joint Mission has made a number of recommendations aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of AMISOM, including the extension of the surge in AMISOM strength and of the non-lethal support package to the Somalia National Army (SNA), which were both authorized by the UN Security Council in resolution 2124 (2013) of 12 November 2013, and the generation of additional capabilities.

After exchanging views on the situation in Somalia, as well as on the findings and recommendations of the Joint Mission, the Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) of the AU at its 15th meeting on Monday “noted with deep concern the recent spate of attacks carried out by the Al Shabaab terrorist group”, said the statement.

Recently the terrorist group carried out attacks against an AMISOM base in Leego, in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, resulting in a number of causalities.

Members of the Committee stressed that “this situation calls for renewed efforts to neutralize Al Shabaab”.  

They paid tribute to the fallen Burundian soldiers and wished a quick recovery to the wounded, expressing “solidarity with the people and Government of Burundi in these trying circumstances”.

In addition, the meeting underlined the relevance of the recommendations made by the Joint Mission, saying that they looked forward to their positive consideration by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the UN Security Council, so as to pave the way for their early and effective implementation.

Members of the MOCC agreed on the urgency of the measures proposed towards streamlining the AMISOM command and control, reconfiguring the Mission’s forces, facilitating cross-sector operations and enhancing logistical support.

“While expressing appreciation to the international partners for the assistance extended so far to AMISOM and the SNA, the participants called for an enhanced support,” the statement said.

The MOCC was set up by the AU to facilitate the implementation of the military and security aspects of the mandate of AMISOM.

Its meeting, which was chaired by AU Commissioner for Peace Security Smaïl Chergui, was attended by Chiefs of Defence Staff and other senior military officers of the AMISOM Troop Contributing Countries (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda) and Somalia, the AMISOM leadership, as well as by representatives of partner countries and institutions (the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations).

The MOCC meeting will be followed by a session of the PSC that will review the overall situation in Somalia and decide on the way forward, on the basis of the findings and recommendations of the Joint Mission.

According to the PSC statement, Heads of Intelligence and Security Services of the member countries of the East African Community (EAC) and of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will convene their second meeting from 14-15 July 2015 in Kampala, Uganda, as part of the Djibouti Process on the Enhancement of Security Cooperation in the East Africa region.

The meeting would notably discuss the best ways and means of enhancing security cooperation in the fight against the Al Shabaab terrorist group, the statement added.
-0- PANA AR/MA 30June2015

30 june 2015 20:46:15

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