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COMMUNIQUÉ

 

                The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 684th meeting held on 28 April 2017, adopted the following decision on the situation in Somalia and the implementation of the mandate of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM):

Council,

1.    Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission, as well as the briefing made by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, on the situation in Somalia and the implementation of the AMISOM mandate. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of Ethiopia, Chair of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and African Member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), as well as by the representatives of Egypt, African member of the UNSC, China, France, United Kingdom, United States of America, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN);

2.    Recalls previous decisions on the situation in Somalia and AMISOM, including Communique PSC/PR/COMM.(DCXLIX) adopted at its 649th meeting on 16 January 2017; Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM (DCXXII) adopted at its 622nd meeting held on 6 September 2016; Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM (DCVIII) adopted at its 608th meeting held on 29 June 2016; and Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.2(DXCV) adopted at its 595th meeting held on 28 April 2016;
 
3.    Commends the people and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) on the recent positive political developments in the country. In this regard, Council welcomes the successful completion of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections, as an important step towards democratization, sustainable peace, security and reconciliation in Somalia. Council congratulates President Mohamed “Farmajo” Abdullahi Mohamed on his election as the President of Somalia and welcomes the initial steps that have been already taken under his leadership to build on the security and political achievements in Somalia. In this respect, Council commends the political agreement on a National Security Architecture and renewed efforts towards an inclusive political consensus between the FGS and the Federal States.

4.    Encourages the new administration of the FGS to spare no effort in realizing an inclusive local reconciliation, promotion of the extension of state authority and services, finalization of the constitutional review process and the establishment of credible institutions that will allow for a universal suffrage vote by 2020.

5.    Notes with concern the continued security threats posed by Al-Shabaab characterized by asymmetrical attacks against civilian population including women and children and, AMISOM personnel. In this context, Council stressed the importance to undertake Operation Juba Vally Corridor II. In this respect, Council expresses appreciation to the EU and the UN, as well as other bilateral donors for their financial and in-kind support to AMISOM. Council reiterates the need for the continued provision of the logistics support package to AMISOM operations especially in the serviceability of eligible equipment by UNSOS and  the timely provision of logistical support previously requested from the UN and international partners for the envisaged Operation Juba Valley Corridor II, without any further delay;

6.    Recalls the visits by the Chairperson of the AU Commission, on 18 March 2017, as well as that of the Peace and Security Council Members from 23 to 26 March 2017, as a further testimony of the strong commitment by the AU to sustaining the political and security gains in Somalia. Council –looks forward to the upcoming official visit by President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mahamed to the AU Commission, as a manifestation of a renewed partnership between Somalia and the AU in the promotion of peace, security, stability and reconciliation in Somalia;

7.    Expresses deep concern over the humanitarian crisis in Somalia brought about by the current drought and the continued threat of famine, which has led to over 500,000 displaced persons and immense loss of lives and livelihoods. Council reaffirms its solidarity with the people and Government of Somalia in their efforts to resolve to this humanitarian challenge;

8.    Reiterates the need for coordinated and effective capacity building of the Somali National Security Forces in order to take-over primary security responsibility from AMISOM. In this respect, Council takes note of the commendable efforts made in garnering consensus and inclusivity on a National Security Architecture, and stresses the need for enhanced coordination and coherence of support by international partners to Somali security institutions in support of the implementation of this security architecture;

9.    Further recalls its decision as contained in Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM (DCXXII) adopted at its 622nd meeting held on 6 September 2016, calling on the United Nations Security Council to consider lifting the arms embargo imposed on Somalia, following its resolution 2244 (2015), as critical aspect of building Somali security institutions, and to ensure that the criteria of the provision of arms is commensurate with the prevailing state of security in Somalia. Council stresses the need for the FGS to ensure the highest degree of responsibility in the management, storage and security of stockpiles;

10.    Underscores the importance of the upcoming AU-UN Joint Strategic Review on Somalia, in defining the future of AMISOM presence in Somalia. Council notes that the review will provide an opportunity to review and redefine tasks, as well as options for the reconfiguration of AMISOM;

11.    Decides to renew the mandate of AMISOM until 30 November 2017, with a maximum authorized strength of 22,126 uniformed personnel, bearing in mind the provisions of paragraph 10 of communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.2(DXCV) adopted at its 595th  meeting held on 28 April 2016, as well as the decision of the UNSC, as contained in paragraph 4 of resolution 2297 (2016) of 07 July 2016, pending the conduct and outcomes of the AU-UN Joint Strategic Review;
 
12.    Emphasizes the need for requisite resourcing of AMISOM to fulfill its current mandate. In this regard, Council re-iterates the call for securing complementary, predictable and sustainable funding to AMISOM including through UN assessed contribution within the framework of enhanced partnership following the signing by the UN Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the AU Commission of a Joint AU-UN Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security during the recent UN-AU Annual Conference held on 19 April 2017, in New York;

13.    Takes note of the forthcoming Conference on Somalia to be held in London, and looks forward to the outcome of this meeting, in particular with regard to the support for Africa's action in Somalia through the enhancement of AMISOM and the SNSF;

14.    Council takes note of the efforts made by the Commission to develop a Standard Operating Procedures on the Payment of ex-gratia in the form of humanitarian and social compensation, in cases of unintended civilian harm during AMISOM operations. Within this context, Council requests the Commission to submit the Standard Operating Procedures to Council for consideration

15.     Takes note of the update by the Commission on the recent conduct of a Ten-Year Lessons Learned Study on AMISOM in line with Communique PSC/PR/COMM.(DCXLIX) adopted at its 649th meeting on 16 January 2017; Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM (DCXXII) adopted at its 622nd meeting held on 6 September 2016. In this regard, Council requests the Commission to submit to Council the report of the Ten-Year Lessons Study and agrees to hold, at the earliest possible date, a dedicated session to consider the report;

16.    Expresses its gratitude to the Police and Troop Contributing Countries of AMISOM, namely Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, as well as AMISOM civilian personnel for their sacrifices, contributions, and sustained commitment in Somalia;
 
17.    Requests the Commission to transmit this communiqué and the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on Somalia and implementation of the AMISOM mandate to the United Nations Secretary-General for onward transmission to the United Nations Security Council for its action as appropriate;

18.     Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Messay

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