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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 683rd meeting held on 26 April 2017, considered the Report of its Field Mission to the Federal Republic of Somalia that was conducted from 23 to 26 March 2017 and adopted the following decision:

Council,

1.    Welcomes the significant progress achieved in Somalia following the election of a new President, the appointment of a Prime Minister and announcement of Cabinet, as well as the completion of the state formation process. Council underscores the importance of maintaining the current momentum and stresses the need for the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to expeditiously address the outstanding issues relating to state formation and the Constitutional review processes. Council re-affirms the AU’s solidarity with the people and Government of Somalia and as support to the country towards the elimination of Al Shabaab, as well as the promotion of peace, stability and reconciliation in Somalia;

2.    Underscores the need for the establishment of effective local administration structures in areas liberated from Al-Shabaab. In this regard, Council calls for the validation of the new states by Parliament and the establishment of local administrations to ensure delivery public services;

3.    Commends the good working relationship between the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army (SNA), whose joint operations have been effective in the fight against Al-Shabaab. In this regard, Council stresses the importance of enhanced cooperation between AMISOM and SNA. Council further stresses the importance of enhanced support to AMISOM, including the provision of force multipliers and enablers, logistical support, effective human intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition reconnaissance assets, among others;

4.    Underlines that, although weakened, Al-Shabaab still maintains the capacity to conduct attacks and still retains a presence in the Middle Juba, Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions. In this regard, Council also underlines the importance of expediting the implementation of the planned Operation Juba Valey II;

5.    Welcomes the decision by the FGS to set the priority of defeating Al-Shabaab within the next two years and emphasizes the importance of the FGS to develop a national security roadmap within specified timelines, to build the capacity and train the Somali national security forces for them to eventually take over the responsibility of security in Somalia, taking into account the withdrawal of AMISOM. In this regard, Council underscores the importance of providing support to the Somali national forces, including, coordinated training, financial, logistical and other resource support;

6.    Takes note of the request made by the FGS for transparent, coordinated and complementary capacity building support to the SNA to ensure that the SNA has a common standard and uniform training. In this regard, Council appeals to all partners providing training support to the SNA to coordinate their efforts to ensure uniform training;

7.     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);

8.    Expresses deep concern of the drought situation in some areas of Somalia and the consequent famine. Council underscores the urgent need to respond to a humanitarian response commensurate to the level of the drought and famine affecting large communities. Council commends the Republic of Botswana, the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Chairperson of the Au Commission for the financial support pledged towards the drought mitigation efforts in Somalia, and requests the Chairperson of the AU Commission to convene an International Donors’ Conference on the drought situation in Africa;

9.    Takes note of the appeal made by the Somali leadership for international assistance to take into consideration the peculiar dynamics of the Somali society, and recognizes that solutions to the problems facing Somalia should be home grown and locally driven, including those relating to reconciliation. In this regard, Council emphasizes the importance for all partners supporting the FGS to align assistance with the priorities of the FGS;

10.    Emphasizes the need to consider reconciliation taking into full consideration of the local culture, which is believed to have better leverage. In this regard, Council stresses the importance of home-grown reconciliation efforts and national healing efforts in Somalia;

11.    Acknowledges that peace building and quick impact projects have proven most valuable in winning the hearts and minds of the people, particularly in liberated areas. Consequently, Council reiterates the importance of providing AMISOM with all necessary resources, with a view for it to more effectively discharge its mandate;
 
12.    Commends the FGS for the significant improvement of the participation of women and youth in politics in Somalia. Therefore, Council emphasizes the imperative to continue to encourage the participation of all Somali stakeholders including women, youth and civil society in efforts aimed at finding lasting solutions to the current crisis facing Somalia;

13.    Acknowledges that the solution to the current crisis in Somalia will not be only military. As such, Council underscores the importance of multipronged approaches, including de-radicalization and counter- extremist narratives;

14.    Expresses sincere gratitude to the FGS and the AMISOM, as well as the United Nations, for facilitating the successful conduct of the field mission;

15.    Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.    

Posted by Messay

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