On March 23, 2017, the African Union Commission, under the leadership of the Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Smail Chergui, convened a high-level consultation on the future of AMISOM and support to security sector institutions and reform in Somalia. Senior representatives of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, European Union, United Nations, and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States were present. The consultation formed part of the consultative work ahead of the London Conference, scheduled for May 2017. It sought to exchange views and garner political consensus on the critical security and security-building tasks in the coming period, identification of responsibilities for priority tasks, and options for appropriate funding.
The meeting discussed and observed as follows:
1. An inclusive and consensual political framework at three levels should underpin international support, notably:
a. Strong Somalia ownership, accountability, and a clear vision based on an inclusive political agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states consistent with an inclusive national security architecture;
b. African Union, IGAD, and relevant international partners will continue to facilitate dialogue between Somalia and its neighboring states;
c. Greater political responsibility, mutual accountability between the Federal Government of Somalia and broadly defined international partners.
2. An exit strategy and transition plan for AMISOM with a clear roadmap should be put in place for the assumption of primary responsibility by Somalia security forces. Within this strategy, AMISOM’s role will continue to be relevant beyond 2018. It was further recommended that support should be based on burden sharing.
3. The meeting discussed the need for supporting AMISOM and non-AMISOM troops (through the provision of fuel, rations, medical and transport), for a limited period of six months, in the conduct of simultaneous offensive operations in the Jubba Valley corridor and the North East Coastline.
4. Enhanced coordination of support by international partners to security institutions in Somalia is imperative. In this respect, consideration should be given to the development of an enhanced cooperation through agreed arrangements on how partners provide support to the security sector and institution building in Somalia.
5. The upcoming joint AU-UN review should provide an opportunity for the review and redefinition of tasks, as well as options for the reconfiguration of AMISOM.
6. Supporting the Somalia national security forces is critical to facilitate their take-over of primary security responsibility in Somalia. Somalia national responsibility in the support of its security institutions will be required. In addition, international support should be coordinated and premised on transparency and a comprehensive verified assessment of current capabilities and requirements of the Somalia security institutions.
7. Partnership between the AU and UN will be central in the future presence of AMISOM. Options to enhance this partnership should be explored in the upcoming joint AU-UN review.
In addition, the meeting took note of the AU recommendation that the UN should consider the possibility of enhanced UN participation in the substantive civilian component functions of AMISOM, including the prospect for a joint Special Representative for Somalia and the full support to AMISOM uniformed personnel through UN-assessed contributions.
Finally, the consultative meeting expressed its commitment to support Somalia on its road towards recovery, and paid tribute to AMISOM T/PCCs and the international community for their dedicated support and sacrifices in the promotion of reconciliation, peace, and stability in Somalia.
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