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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union adopted a decision on the Strategic Review of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 28, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 356th meeting held on 27 February 2013, adopted the following decision on the Strategic Review of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM):


1. Takes note of the Report of the Commission on the Strategic Review of the AU Mission in Somalia [PSC/PR/2(CCCLVI)];

2. Recalls its previous decisions and press statements on the situation in Somalia, in particular press statement PSC/PR/COMM(CCCXXXVII), adopted at its 337th meeting held on 11 October 2012, in which Council expressed full support to the decision of the Commission to undertake a strategic review of AMISOM and the implementation of its mandate, and communique PSC/PR/COMM.1(CCCL), adopted at its 350th meeting held on 14 January 2013, in which Council took note of the preliminary findings of the Review and stressed the need for this exercise to lead to the enhancement of the effectiveness of AMISOM and strengthened coordination, as well as the imperative to address the issue of sustainable and predictable funding for the next phase of the Mission;

3. Reiterates its commitment to the unity, territorial integrity andsovereignty of Somalia;

4. Welcomes the continuing security gains being recorded in the country by the Somalia National Security Forces (SNSF), with the support of AMISOM and the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF). 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, and takes note with satisfaction of the relocation, to Mogadishu, of the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the completion of the deployment of the Djiboutian contingent in Sector 4 and the imminent deployment of the Sierra-Leonean contingent in Sector 2. Council reiterates its appreciation to AMISOM troop (Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda) and police (Nigeria and Uganda and the countries providing individual police officers) contributing countries, as well as to Ethiopia, for their commitment and sacrifices. Council further reiterates its appreciation to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the European Union (EU) and its Member States, the United Nations (UN) and bilateral partners,notably the United Kingdom and the United States, for their invaluable contribution to the peace and reconciliation efforts in Somalia;

5. Recalls the tremendous progress made in the political and reconciliation process in Somalia. Council emphasizes that the Somalis, in particular their political, clan and religious leaders, have the principal responsibility for the consolidation of peace and security in their country, and strongly urges the political leadership of Somalia and all other stakeholders, in the best interest of Somalia, to continue to show selfless leadership, resolve and unity of purpose, for without such dispositions, no amount of external assistance will make it possible to consolidate the gains that have been made in Somalia;

6. 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;

7. Welcomes the outcome of the Commission's Strategic Review of AMISOM, including the recommendations regarding the Main Effort, End State and Strategic Objectives for the AU in Somalia. Council notes the three options contained in the Review Report regarding the future configuration of AMISOM (paragraphs 43 to 49), namely: (1) handing over of AMISOM to the United Nations, (2) enhancing AMISOM, and (3) a joint AU-UN mission, with option 2 serving as a transition phase in this scenario. Council reiterates AU's long standing position on the need for the UN Security Council, in line with its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, to authorize the deployment, in Somalia, of a United Nations operation that would take over AMISOM and support the long-term stabilization and reconstruction of the country;

8. Endorses, in light of current realities and constraints and as an interim arrangement,the recommendation to enhance AMISOM, as contained in paragraph 47 and 48, and 59 to 61 of the Review Report,which notably requires the Mission to: (a) maintain a robust posture, with the required multipliers and enablers, in order to facilitate the recovery of the areas that are still under the control of Al Shabaab, (b) establish special training teams to enhance the capacity of Somalia's National Defence and Public Safety Institutions, and (c) enhance its civilian capacity to support the FGS efforts to restore effective governance, promote reconciliation, human rights and rule of law, and ensureservice delivery in the recovered areas;

9. Recalls the mandate of AMISOM, as contained in its communiqué PSC/PR/Comm(LXIX), adopted at its 69th meeting held on 19 January 2007. Council decides, in view of the evolution of the situation and the need to consolidate the gains made along the parameters outlined in paragraph 8 above, that AMISOM, as a multidimensional Peace Support Operation, shall be mandated to:

(a) take all necessary measures, as appropriate, and in coordination with the Somalia National Defence and Public Safety Institutions, to reduce the threat posed by Al Shabaab and other armed opposition groups,

(b) assist in consolidating and expanding the control of the FGS over its national territory,

(c) assist the FGS in establishing conditions for effective and legitimate governance across Somalia, through support, as appropriate, in the areas of security, including the protection of Somali institutions and key infrastructure, governance, rule of law and delivery of basic services,

(d) provide, within its capabilities and as appropriate, technical and other support for the enhancement of the capacity of the Somalia State institutions, particularly the National Defence, Public Safety and Public Service Institutions,

(e) support the FGS in establishing the required institutions and conducive conditions for the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections by 2016, in accordance with the Provisional Constitution,

(f) liaise with humanitarian actors and facilitate, as may be required and within its capabilities, humanitarian assistance in Somalia, as well as the resettlement of internally displaced persons and the return of refugees,

(g) facilitate coordinated support by relevant AU institutions and structures towards the stabilization and reconstruction of Somalia, and

(h) provide protection to AU and UN personnel, installations and equipment, including the right of self-defence;

10. Expresses appreciation to the United Nations Security Council for the support extended to AMISOM, as provided for in its resolutions 1863 (2009), 2036 (2012) and 2073 (2012), and delivered through the UN Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA). Council welcomes the good and collaborative working relationship between AMISOM and UNSOA;

11. Calls upon the UN Security Council to authorize the enhancement of the support package to AMISOM, to enable it to discharge its mandate effectively. Council further calls upon the UN Security Council to ensure that the configuration of the envisaged UN Mission in Somalia, as foreseen in the context of the Strategic Review of the UN presence in Somalia, does not,in any way, impede or constrain the capacity and flexibility of UNSOA to provide unfettered support to AMISOM in accordance with its mandate as outlined above, particularly in the conduct of peace enforcement operations;

12. Stresses the need for effective and coordinated efforts to secure Somalia's coastline to deprive Al Shabaab of means and resources to carry out its terrorist activities. In this respect, and bearing in mind the AMISOM maritime requirements, as outlined in the Strategic Concept for AMISOM Future Operations, adopted at its 306th meeting held on 5 January 2012 [PSC/PR/COMM.(CCCVI)], and the imperative of building a capable Somali coast guard, Council requests the Commission to undertake the necessary consultations with the Somali Government, bearing in mind its position on this matter, with a view to urgently reaching an agreement on the way forward, so as to facilitate the mobilization of international support, including from the United Nations;

13. Requests the UN Security Council, whilst recognizing the sovereign responsibility of Somalia to build its own defense and public safety institutions, to authorize measures to ensure predictable support for the development of the Somalia security sector, with adequate civilian and administrative oversight, including the provision of basic logistical support to the Somalia forces undertaking joint operations with AMISOM forces, as well as the supply of weapons within a transparent and orderly framework, notably the lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia as it relates to the SNSF, while maintaining it against non-state actors;

14. Stresses that the long-term stabilization and reconstruction of Somalia requires the effective involvement of the United Nations. In this respect, Council welcomes the steps being taken by the Commission to engage the UN to facilitate greater and enhanced coordination of efforts between the AU and UN in Somalia,in order to consolidate the security gains made on the ground and to create an enabling environment for reconstruction and peace-building;

15. Calls on AU member states and international partners to extend to Somalia all the required financial, technical and economic support to facilitate recovery efforts, improve livelihoods and create conditions for sustainable peace, security and stability. In this respect, Council requests the Commission to enhance its efforts towards the mobilisation, within the framework of the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI), of greater support from member states and relevant AU institutions, including NEPAD and the Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (IBAR), bearing in mind, with respect to the latter, that livestock remains a key sector of the Somali economy and livelihoods. Council also requests the Commission to take steps to actively engage international partners and financial institutions, namely the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and relevant regional institutions, to step up their efforts in support of Somalia. In this respect, Council welcomes the recent visit to Mogadishu, with AU support, of an AfDB team;

16. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to transmit this communiqué to the UN Security Council to seek its support, and to actively engage all AU partners to mobilize further support for the implementation of the revised AMISOM mandate;

17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

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