Talks underway in Mogadishu on new AU mission in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Officials of the African Union Commission, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), and international partners are meeting in Mogadishu, Somalia, to discuss the mandate, composition, size, structure, and the Concept of Operations (CONOPs) of a proposed new AU mission in Somalia – the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), which will replace the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) whose mandate ends on 31st March 2022.
Speaking at the start of the engagements, Somalia’s Minister of Defence, Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur, said, the proposed mission, as agreed between the key stakeholders will focus on implementing the priorities of the Somalia Transition Plan (STP). The STP is a comprehensive strategy developed by the FGS and its partners to steer the gradual transfer of security responsibilities to Somali security forces from AMISOM.
“As proposed by the technical teams of the FGS and AU, the mandate of the new AU Transition Mission in Somalia will be to support the Federal government to implement its strategic objectives and priorities in the STP,” said Minister Nur.
The Head of AMISOM and SRCC said it was important for the technical teams to come up with a clear roadmap to distinguish the new mission from AMISOM.
“We have agreed on what needs to be done. However, we need to work together on how this will be done, with what means and what is required to differentiate the new mission from AMISOM. This is a project that is essential and dear to all of us, but for it to succeed it needs assurances of reliable sources of adequate and predictable funding and support. We should, therefore, at the end of the technical meeting be in a position to make clear commitments on what each one of us will contribute to making the agreed conclusions implementable and successful,” said Ambassador Madeira.
The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Anita Kiki Gbeho, said the UN was committed to a successful reconfiguration of AMISOM through consultation, collaboration, and coordination.
“We welcome the commencement of the technical talks to further develop the draft Concept of Operations, develop a joint proposal, and the logistics support package in line with the agreed roadmap. The Somali Transition Plan, a compass to guide our work, is focused on delivering a comprehensive security transition in Somalia, and the UN is committed to supporting this Somali-led process. I want to underscore that the reconfiguration of AMISOM to a new mission is a key part of this effort,” said Gbeho.
The Head of the European Union Delegation to Somalia, Tiina Intelmann, said the EU was willing to assist the reconfigured mission, as long as it offers realistic clarity on the direction it will be taking.
“The joint paper makes reference to sustainable, predictable, and adequate funding, and I can say that we are ready to be a contributor and assure this predictability, however, there has to be a reconfiguration plan that is realistic, pragmatic and focused,” she emphasized.
The Chief of Policy Development at the AU Peace Support Operations Division, Zinurine Algahli, outlined the elements of the agreement signed between the AU-FGS Technical Teams following their engagement held from 17-21 January 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the mandate, composition, size and strategic objectives of the new mission and the specific objectives and tasks of each component as part of the process towards finalizing a multidimensional and comprehensive Concept of Operations (CONOPs) for the new mission.
Also present at the meeting was the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Somalia, Kate Foster, the Deputy Head of the Turkish Mission in Somalia, Kosif Ismail Emre, and the United States Ambassador to Somalia.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from the embassies of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Djibouti in Somalia. These countries are part of the Troop and Police Contributing Countries (T/PCC) to AMISOM.
On 20 February 2007, the United Nations Security Council authorized the African Union to deploy a peacekeeping mission with an initial mandate of six months. Over the years, AMISOM has worked to reduce the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and has provided security for Somalia to establish political processes including governance, stabilization, reconciliation, and peace-building in Somalia.