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Communiqué of the 379th Meeting of the Peace and Security Council

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 17, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 379th meeting held on 13 June 2013, adopted the following decision on the situation in Somalia and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM):

Council,

1. Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation in Somalia [PSC/PR/2(CCCLXXIX)]. Council also takes note of the statements made by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Somalia, as well as by the representatives of Somalia, Ethiopia in its capacity as the Chair of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Kenya, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), Italy, France, the United Kingdom and the United States;

2. Recalls its previous decisions and press statements on the situation in Somalia, in particular communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.1(CCCLVI), adopted at its 356th meeting held on 27 February 2013;

3. Reiterates its commitment to the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Somalia and reaffirms AU's full support to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and its commitment to continue to assist the FGS in its stabilization and reconstruction efforts, including the implementation of the Government's six-pillar strategy;

4. Welcomes the continuing progress in the political and reconciliation process, as well as the continued improvement of the security situation in Somalia. Council notes with concern, however, the challenges related to the implementation of the Provisional Constitution with regard to the establishment of federal states, in particular in the Jubbaland. In this respect, Council welcomes the decision of the 22nd Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa, on 24 May 2013. Council urges the Somali people and leaders to refrain from any action that could reverse the gains made and to demonstrate the required maturity and goodwill in resolving this situation in line with the decision of the 22nd Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Heads of State and Government;

5. Welcomes the efforts by the Somalia National Security Forces (SNSF), with the support of AMISOM and the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) to consolidate the security gains recorded in Somalia. Council commends, once again, AMISOM for its outstanding contribution to the improvement of security in Somalia, the stabilization of the country and furtherance of the reconciliation process. Council reiterates its appreciation to AMISOM troop (Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda) and police (Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda) contributing countries, as well as to Ethiopia, for their commitment and the huge sacrifices made on behalf of the continent and the larger international community;

6. Stresses its commitment to the respect of the highest standards of human rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Council further stresses its commitment to a zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. Council welcomes the sustained efforts by the Commission and AMISOM to ensure that the Mission and its personnel continue to uphold such standards, requests them to persevere in their efforts and calls on Member States and partners alike to provide the necessary resources to the Mission in this respect;

7. Notes, with serious concern, that AMISOM forces have reached their operational limits and are unable to conduct expansion operations as envisaged in the AU-UN Strategic Concept for future operations in Somalia, as adopted by Council in its communiqué PSC/PR/COMM(CCCVI) of 5 January 2012. In this respect, Council calls upon, once again, the Security Council to take the necessary steps, in line with Council's communiqué PSC/PR/COMM(CCCLVI) of 27 February 2013, to provide the necessary support to AMISOM and the Somalia National Security Forces (SNSF), in order to enable them to consolidate their control over recovered territories and to continue to extend State authority by: (a) providing the Mission with the required force multipliers and enablers, (b) adjusting the concept and enhancing the delivery of the UN logistical support package to AMISOM, (b) authorizing the provision of basic logistical assistance to the SNSF by the UN Support Office to AMISOM (UNSOA), particularly when the SNSF are involved in joint operations with AMISOM, (c) providing dedicated resources, especially funds, for the training and capacity building of the SNSF by AMISOM, and (d) effectively addressing the issue of the Guard Force, bearing in mind the limitations facing the Mission in terms of strength, resources and logistics, as well as the tasks expected to be undertaken, as highlighted in the report of the Chairperson of the Commission;

8. Expresses its appreciation to the UN Security Council, IGAD and its Member States, as well as to bilateral and multilateral partners, for their invaluable contribution to the peace and reconciliation efforts in Somalia;

9. Stresses that the long-term stabilization and reconstruction of Somalia requires the effective involvement of the United Nations system, the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the bilateral partners. In this regard, Council further stresses the importance of sustained support, including debt relief, and calls on all partners to support Somalia in meeting its obligations towards the IFIs in order to facilitate the mobilization of the required support to peace building and development in the country;

10. Welcomes the establishment of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and urges close coordination of efforts between AMISOM and UNSOM in order to consolidate the gains made on the ground and to facilitate reconstruction and peace building in Somalia;

11. Reiterates its call to the UN Security Council to consider creative and action-oriented steps towards the re-hatting of AMISOM, as contained in Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM(CCCII) of 2 December 2011, considering the improved situation in some parts of the country which now allow an enhanced UN presence on the ground. Council, in this regard, looks forward to the benchmarking exercise that will be undertaken by the UN Secretariat and the AU Commission in the context of paragraph 19 of UN Security Council resolution 2093 (2013);

12. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to transmit this communiqué to the UN Security Council to seek its support and to actively engage the Secretary-General of the United Nations to mobilize the required support to the SNSF and AMISOM in the implementation of the Mission's mandate;

13. Agrees to undertake a field mission to Somalia as soon as possible;

14. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.