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COMMUNIQUE

Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 1053rd meeting held on 7 December 2021 on the Briefing on the Situation in Somalia and the status of AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Post-2021,

The Peace and Security Council,

             Recalling all its previous decisions on the situation in Somalia, particularly Communique [PSC/PR/COMM. 1037(2021)] adopted at its 1037th meeting held on 7 October 2021, Communique [PSC/PR/COMM.2 (CMXCIV)], adopted at its 994th meeting held on 11 May 2021, the Summary Records of its meetings held on 30 August 2021 and on 30 July 2021, as well as United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2568 (2021);

Noting the opening remarks made by the Permanent Representative of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the AU, and Chairperson of the PSC for the month of December 2021, H.E. Ambassador Tesfaye Yilma, and the statement made by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye; also noting the presentation by the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the AU, H.E. Ambassador Mohammed Omar Gad, of the Report of the PSC Field Mission to Somalia, undertaken from 8 to 10 November 2021, as well as the briefing by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, H.E. Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, and the statement delivered by the Minister of Defence of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), H.E. Hassan Hussein Haji;

Re-affirming its unwavering commitment to respect the unity, territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia;

Determined to defeat Al Shabaab, restore lasting peace, security and stability, as well as political normalcy in Somalia; and

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,

1. Decides to adopt the Report of its field mission, that was conducted from 8 to 10 November 2021, as part of the ongoing consultations on AMISOM post-2021;

2. Welcomes the progress achieved to date to liberate Somalia from Al Shabaab and other armed groups, to degrade their capabilities, and to create an enabling environment for the FGS to effectively extend state authority throughout the territory of the country;

3. Commends the Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM for the progress registered thus far in the fight against the Al Shabaab terrorist group and, in particular, for the immeasurable personal sacrifice and unwavering commitment to defeat Al Shabaab in very challenging conditions, pays special tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace, expresses sincere condolences to the troop and police contributing countries and the families of the deceased; and wishes a speedy recovery to all those injured in Al Shabaab attacks;

4. Notes with concern the institutional capacity challenges facing AMISOM, particularly in terms of adequate, predictable and sustainable funding, force enablers, force multipliers and coherence of command and control and in this regard, requests the AU Commission, with the support of the partners, to assist in addressing these challenges;

5. Stresses the importance of transparent, free, fair and credible elections towards promoting the stability of Somalia and, in this respect, encourages the FGS, in particular, the Federal Election Implementation Team (FEIT) to expedite the organization of all pending elections within the stipulated timelines and requests the AU Commission to continue to provide the required support in addressing the challenges facing the elections, and encourages the FEIT to create conducive conditions for more women participation in the elections in order to meet the women’s quota;

6. Notes with concern the persistent institutional capacity challenges facing the SNA, including force generation, insufficient capacity to effectively hold on to, and ensure effective control over, territory liberated from Al Shabaab and, most importantly, lack of required capacity to immediately take over full responsibility of guaranteeing national security in Somalia after 31 December 2021;

7. Underscores the importance of preserving the gains made thus far, maintaining the current momentum in the fight against Al Shabaab; and emphasizes the need for the continued presence of an AU peace support operation on the ground post-2021;

8. Reiterates the continued relevance of Communique [PSC/PR/COMM.1037(2021)] adopted at its 1037th meeting which endorsed Option 1 of the Independent Assessment Report, namely, to establish an AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia, as the best way to ensure predictable and sustainable financing for the mission, from UN assessed contributions;

9. Acknowledges however, that any future mission to replace AMISOM must enjoy the support and consent of the FGS as well as the UN Security Council and, in this regard, takes note of the position of the FGS, as well as the position of some international partners with regard to the nature and configuration of the post-2021 AU engagement in Somalia, and in this respect, underscores that any future AU mission must have access to predictable, sustainable financing at adequate levels; reiterates that any future AU mission should be multidimensional, comprising the right balance between military, police and civilian components with a view to ensuring a comprehensive approach towards addressing the security situation, supporting the implementation of outstanding political issues, and addressing stabilization and post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding in Somalia, with the support of the AUPCRD Centre in Cairo;

10. Requests the Commission to continue the consultations with the United Nations on the preparation of the Joint Report on the the strategic objectives, mandate, size, composition and financing of a follow-on mission, which will have, as part of its end state, the handing over of security responsibilities to the Somali Security Forces by the end of 2023, as stipulated in the Somali Transition Plan; as well as the discussions with the FGS on on the Concept of Operations for the AMISOM post-2021 follow on mission; also requests the Commission to engage with the FGS, the UN and other partners on the Somali Transition Plan, with a view to assessing the modalities, responsibilities, division of labour and timelines of the Somali Transition Plan, which envision a completion of transition of security responsibilities to the FGS by the end of 2023;

11. Mindful of the impending end of AMISOM mandate on 31 December 2021, appeals to the UNSC to consider approving a technical roll over of the mandate of AMISOM in order to avail the required time and space for reaching the desired consensus;

12. Commends the progress made so far, expresses concern over the institutional differences within the FGS, on the one hand, between the President and the Prime Minister, and on the other, between the FGS and the FMS and, in this regard, encourages all of them to expeditiously address their differences, in order to ensure that Al Shabaab is deprived of the opportunity to exploit these political differences to its advantage;

13. Commends all bilateral and international partners of Somalia for their continued support to the FGS and underscores the importance of enhanced transparency, collaboration, coordination and complementarity of their efforts;

14. Expresses gratitude to the FGS for its hospitality and positive engagement, as well as to all the other stakeholders who expressed keenness to engage with the Council;

15. Expresses particular gratitude to the AMISOM and UNSOS for facilitating the successful conduct of the field mission and commend the efforts of Mission to promote the visibility of the AU on the ground, including through implementation of quick impact projects (QIPs) and peace strengthening projects (PSPs) and assures the Mission of the continued support of the AU and Council in particular;

16. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by SitroomCom

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