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By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 31, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Commission of the African Union (AU) looks forward to the adoption, by the United Nations Security Council, of a resolution authorizing the technical roll‐ over of the current UN support package to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), pending the conclusion of the strategic review of AMISOM and its mandate, with a view to determining how best the Mission can further contribute to the stabilization of Somalia and the successful implementation of the priorities set by the Somali President and Government.

In this respect, and as stressed by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), at its meeting of 11 October 2012, the Commission expects that the Security Council will positively respond to the request made and conveyed to the UN Secretary General by the Chairperson of the Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini‐Zuma, for the provision of additional support regarding the civilian and maritime components of AMISOM, to take into account urgent needs arising from the realities on the ground. Indeed, the enhancement of the civilian capacity of AMISOM will go a long way in assisting in the stabilization of areas recovered from the Al‐Qaeda‐linked Al‐ Shabaab group, while the provision of maritime support will enable the Mission to ensure a better surveillance of Somalia's coast.

The Commission also appeals to the Security Council to take steps to review the arms embargo on Somalia, with a view to facilitating the provision, at the request of the legitimate President and Government of Somalia, of arms and other military equipment to the Somali security forces within appropriate modalities to be determined. Such steps will be part of efforts to empower the Somalia defense and security sectors.

The Commission further urges the Security Council to look into the issue of the large volume of charcoal found in the city of Kismayo by AMISOM, and to consider adopting, in the context of the embargo on the export of charcoal from Somalia, and in light of all relevant factors prevailing in Kismayo, an ad hoc and urgent solution in consultation with the Somali Government.

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By: Haruna