Addis Ababa, 21 February 2018: The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, was received this afternoon by the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn. They discussed the situation in Ethiopia. They also exchanged views on efforts underway to find an early solution to the conflict in South Sudan, as well as funding for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), in preparation for a meeting of AMISOM troop-contributing countries, scheduled to be held in Kampala on 2 March 2018.

The Prime Minister briefed the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation in Ethiopia and the measures taken by the Government to ensure the maintenance of law and order, pursue the reform agenda and respond to the challenges of youth unemployment and other related problems. He stressed that the current transition would be successfully concluded. The Prime Minister and the Chairperson of the Commission stressed that the current difficulties are inherent in any effort to promote development and deepen democracy.

The Chairperson of the Commission assured the Prime Minister of the support of the African Union and its commitment to accompany Ethiopia in its efforts, including by making available the various tools developed within the framework of its technical structures and institutions. He welcomed the renewed commitment of the Ethiopian authorities to the continued widening of the political space, and reiterated the African Union’s confidence in the capacity of the Government and people of Ethiopia to overcome the challenges at hand.

The Chairperson of the Commission expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for his continued commitment to the causes of the continent, and expressed the hope that he would continue to put his immense experience and wisdom at the service of the African Union, even after his departure from his current position.

With regard to South Sudan, the Chairperson of the Commission reiterated the support of the African Union for the efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The Prime Minister and the Chairperson of the Commission stressed the need for continued efforts to end the conflict and underlined the responsibility of the South Sudanese parties in this regard. The African Union and IGAD will continue to work together within the framework of the relevant decisions of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.

Finally, on Somalia, the Chairperson of the Commission reiterated his appreciation to Ethiopia and other troop-contributing countries for their commitment and the sacrifices made in the service of peace and security in Somalia. The Prime Minister stressed his country's determination to continue to accompany Somalia, in the spirit of pan-African solidarity. The Chairperson of the Commission briefed the Prime Minister on the efforts of the team set up by the African Union and the United Nations, co-lead by former Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and former African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra and former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guehenno, to review the situation and make recommendations on the future of AMISOM funding.

Posted by Dagne Semu

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