TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 579th meeting on the situation in Somalia and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

By African Union Commission (AUC)

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 579thmeeting held on 29 February 2016, adopted the following decision on the situation in Somalia and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM):

Council,

1. Takes noteof the briefing provided by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, on the situation in Somalia. Councilfurther takes noteof the statements made by the representatives of Ethiopia, as Chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Egypt, as an African Member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), as well as by the representatives of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), the European Union (EU), France, Italy as the co-Chair of the IGAD Partners Forum, the United Kingdom and the United States of America;

2. Recallsits previous pronouncements on the situation in Somalia, including communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.1(DLXII) adopted at its 562andmeeting held on 10 December 2015, communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(DVIII) adopted at its 508thmeeting held on 18 May 2015, communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(DXXI) adopted at its 521stmeeting held on 30 June 2015, and communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.1(DXLIV) adopted at its 544thmeeting held on 18 September 2015;

3. Welcomesthe Declaration of the Summit of the Troop and Police Contributing Countries (TCCs/PCCs) of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) held on 28 February 2016 in Djibouti andemphasizesthe need for the Federal Government of Somalia to fully commit itself to implement the outcomes concerning it in the Declaration of the Summit;

4.Takes note ofthe outcome of the meeting of the High-Level Partnership Forum for Somalia, held in Istanbul, Turkey from 23 to 24 February 2016. In this regard, Councilemphasizesthat the AU should be a co-organizer and co-chair of future meetings of the High-Level Partnership Forum for Somalia;

5. Strongly condemnsthe recent heinous attacks perpetrated by the Al Shabaab terrorist group in Mogadishu, El Adde, Leggo, and Janaale. In this regard, Councilpays tributeto the AMISOM personnel who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the fight against Al Shabaab. Councilalso pays tributeto AMISOM uniformed and civilian personnel, as well as to the Somali National Defence Forces (SNSF) for their continued sacrifice, commitment and determination to defeat Al Shabaab and to achieve lasting peace in Somalia;

6.Also recallsits previous pronouncements on the imperative need for enhanced adherence to the command and control structure of AMISOM, in line with the relevant provisions of the revised harmonized CONOPS. In this regard, Councilwelcomesthe Djibouti Declaration of the Summit of the AMISOM TCCs/PCCs, which directed AMISOM contingences to fully support the Force Commander in his exercise of effective and accountable command and control of all AMISOM military units and equipment assigned to the mission, under the overall leadership of the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and AMISOM Head of Mission. Councilfurther requeststhe Chairperson of the Commission to provide regular updates on progress made in this respect and on any challenges that may be encountered;

7. Expresses appreciationto the UN and the EU, as well as to the other partners for their continued support to AMISOM.However, Councilregretsthat the EU has decided to reduce, by 20%, its funding to AMISOM troop allowances, at this critical juncture, when AMISOM is increasingly facing capacity challenges for which it needs unwavering financial and logistical support to more effectively discharge its mandate. Furthermore, Councilemphasizesthat the reduction of allowances for uniformed personnel may negatively impact on the morale of the personnel and the overall effectiveness of AMISOM, with adverse effects on the ongoing transition process in Somalia. In this context, Councilreiteratesits previous calls to the UN to utilize assessed contributions to bridge this financial gap, in line with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, bearing in mind that, through AMISOM, which is operating in a very challenging environment, the AU is acting on behalf of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which has the primary responsibility of promoting international peace and security;

8. Further requeststhat the UN fully supports AMISOM at levels that are commensurate with similar UN peace enforcement missions or, alternatively, considers timely modalities for a transition from AMISOM to a UN mission as the peace process in Somalia is approaching its climax, which should not be undermined;

9.Requeststhe Commission to intensify its efforts in exploring alternative solutions with other partners as an immediate step towards bridging the current funding gaps for AMISOM, within the framework of the comprehensive resource mobilisation efforts being undertaken by the AU Commission following the appointment of Dr. Donald Kaberuka as the AU High Representative for the Peace Fund;

10. Callson the international community to continue to provide the necessary support to the FGS and its institutions, in order to consolidate the gains made and facilitate the completion of the transition process. However, Councilunderscoresthe importance of enhanced coordination of efforts, in order to avoid duplications and to ensure enhanced synergies on the ground. In this regard, Councilrequeststhe Commission to coordinate the efforts of AU partners in Somalia;

11. Commends, once again,the efforts of the FGS to consolidate the realization of a strong and effective federal system in the country. In this context, Councilurgesthe FGS and all the other Somali stakeholders, working in a spirit of inclusiveness and national unity, to show the necessary commitment and to spare no efforts in ensuring the full implementation of Vision 2016, including its commitments in the Djibouti Declaration and the outcomes of the High-Level Partnership Forum for Somalia, held in Istanbul, Turkey from 23 to 24 February 2016;

12. Re-affirmsthe AU's commitment to continue to assist the FGS in its stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Somalia. Council further re-affirms its continued support to the tireless efforts of the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and AMISOM Head of Mission;

13.Looks forwardto the successful convening of the meeting of the AU-UN Joint Task Force on 22 March 2016 in New York, in the USA;

14. Decidesto remain actively seized of the matter.