Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 1177th meeting, held on 30 September 2023, on the request by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), for a technical pause of phase 2 drawdown of 3,000 African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) uniformed personnel by three (3) months, in line with the Communique [PSC/MIN/COMM.1175(2023)] adopted on 23 September 2023:

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling all its previous decisions and pronouncements on the situation in Somalia and on ATMIS, in particular, Communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM.1173 (2023)] adopted at its 1173rd meeting held on 14 September 2023 and Communique [PSC/MIN/COMM.1175 (2023)] adopted at its 1175th meeting, held on 23 September 2023;      

Reaffirming the AU’s solidarity with the people and the Federal Government of Somalia in their aspirations for durable peace, security, stability, and prosperity, which will benefit the Horn of Africa region and the Continent as a whole; also reaffirming the unwavering commitment of the AU to respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of Somalia;

Noting the opening remarks by H.E. Ambassador Churchill Ewumbue Monono,  Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cameroon to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for September 2023, the remarks by H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, as well as the briefing by H.E. Ambassador Souef Mohamed El-Amine, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia and Head of ATMIS; also noting the statements by the representatives of the Federal Government of Somalia and the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), namely, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda; 

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

1. Commends the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) for its continued initiative to take full ownership and leadership of Somalia’s stabilization and reconciliation processes, particularly in the liberated areas;

2. Also commends the ATMIS and the TCCs for their sacrifice and valuable contribution in degrading Al Shabaab in the search for durable peace in Somalia;

3. Expresses deep concern over the security situation in Somalia posed by the activities of the Al Shabaab, while underscoring the importance of the African Union to continue supporting Somalia for durable peace; 

4. Strongly supports the request of Somalia regarding the technical pause of the phase 2 drawdown of 3,000 ATMIS uniformed personnel by three (3) months;

5. Takes note of the shortfalls in financial resources that could impede the operationalization of the requested technical pause of three months; in this regard, Directs the AU Commission to consider the following options in order to mobilize resources for the requested extension:

i. Engage with the Federal Government of Somalia to mobilize internal resources, including approaching its bilateral partners to support the financial costs for the requested extension;

ii. Engage AU Member States for voluntary contributions in support of the request of the Federal Government of Somalia;

iii. Identify internal resources within the AU to cover the costs for the requested extension and submit to the PRC Sub-Committee on General Supervision and Coordination on Budgetary, Financial and Administrative Matters;

iv. Expedite the finalization of the development of the modalities for the utilization of the AU Peace Fund;

v.  Engage bilateral and multilateral partners, as well as the private sector to explore support options for the extension, including the organization of the pledging conference;

vi. Engage with the African Members of the UN Security Council to expedite the finalization of the draft resolution to be submitted to the UN Security Council on financing AU-led PSOs and access to the UN assessed contributions;

6. Welcomes the proposal and commitment of the Ministers of the TCCs (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda) in their letter dated 25 September 2023, to work with the Government of Somalia and partners to secure financial support required for ATMIS;

7. Also welcomes the letter of the President of the UNSC dated 27 September 2023 regarding the UN’s commitment to continue to support ATMIS until 31 October 2023;

8. Urges the FGS to prioritize force generation, regeneration and capacity building, in order to take over and adequately occupy all Forward Operating Bases handed over by ATMIS with the view to preserving the gains made in Somalia;

9. Request the Commission, in consultation with the FGS, the TCCs, UN and other partners, to reach an agreement on the transition to FGS responsibility for security, in order to make an informed decision on the renewal of the ATMIS mandate in December 2023, including phase 3 drawdown scheduled for June 2024, and final exit by December 2024, in order to avoid future ad hoc decisions on extension;

10. Requests the AU Commission to transmit the present Communique to the UN Security Council for its financial support towards the extension of phase 2 for three (3) months; and

11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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