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Addis Ababa, 14 November 2011: The meeting of Ministers of Defense and Chiefs of Defense Staff of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), current and potential Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other interested countries, namely, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda, took place at the African Union (AU) Commission, in Addis Ababa, on 14 November 2011. The meeting, chaired by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, was attended by a high level delegation from the United Nations, including the Under?Secretary General for the Department of Field Support (DFS), Ms. Susana Malcorra, the Special Representative of the Secretary?General (SRSG) for Somalia, Ambassador Augustine Mahiga, and the Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), Ambassador Zachary Muburi?Muita. The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Boubacar Diarra, also attended the meeting.

The meeting was preceded by two series of technical consultations that brought together the AU Commission and the Chiefs of Defence Staff and senior military experts from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda, which took place on the 5 and 12 November 2011. The meeting was convened against the backdrop of the recent political, security andhumanitarian developments in Somalia and the need to take advantage of these developments to consolidate security across the country and to sustain efforts at enhancing the implementation of the Political Roadmap, agreed to, in early September, by the Somali stakeholders in Mogadishu, as a follow up to the Kampala Accord of June 2011. The meeting, having stressed its support for the AU’s efforts at restoring security in Somalia and facilitating the implementation of the Political Roadmap which will usher in a new political dispensation by August 2012, highlighted the following: ? the need to pursue the efforts to fully secure Mogadishu, which is now under the control of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia and AMISOM; ? the positive developments brought about by the military operations conducted against Al Shabaab in South and South West Somalia by the TFG and allied forces with the support of some IGAD countries. The meeting noted that these developments, in particular the Kenya military initiative, provide an opportunity to further weaken AlShabaab and deprive it of human and financial resources, expand the TFG administrative presence and facilitate the implementation of the Political Roadmap; ? the need to take effective steps to ensure that Somali stakeholders honour their commitments so that the political and military aspects of the ongoing efforts progress hand?in?hand; and ? the dire humanitarian situation in the country, especially in the liberated areas of the South and South West, which calls for renewed efforts to address the plight of the affected populations. In light of the above, the meeting exchanged and agreed on the practical steps to be taken to further the promotion of peace and reconciliation in Somalia. The Commission, in close consultation with IGAD and the countries of the region and in cooperation with the United Nations, will carry out the necessary consultations to this end and take other required follow up steps. The meeting called on the international community to enhance its support to AMISOM, especially through the provision of the much needed force enablers and multipliers to enhance the operational effectiveness of the force. It stressed the importance of adequate international support to the TFG forces to enable them assume primary responsibility for the security of the country, as well as of the mobilization of the required financial resources, for the implementation of the Political Roadmap. The meeting also held a consultative forum with the African members of the UN Security Council, namely Gabon, Nigeria, South Africa, and Togo as an in?coming member of that body as well as AU bilateral and multilateral partners, to interact with them on the situation in Somalia and the best way forward. Steps were agreed to pursue the cooperative endeavor in Somalia, building on the positive developments so far achieved, and to develop a comprehensive approach that targets terrorists and pirates and give sustainable support to the overall peace effort in Somalia.

Posted by Lulit Kebede

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