14 May 2018

Africa: Somalia Says It's Ready to Take Over Security Responsibility From AU

Photo: Frank Yiga
Peacekeepers distribute food in Somalia

The Somali government has told a joint team from the U.N. and AU that it remains committed to taking over security responsibility as the country transitions from failed to state to a fragile state.

Abdisaid Musse Ali, a National Security Advisor with the Federal Government acknowledged that the transition plan will signal a change in how security is delivered.

"The transition plan represents a significant change in the planning and delivery of security in Somalia. It's not business as usual," he said in a statement issued on Sunday from AMISOM.

"For many years, Somalia has been grateful for the strong support of our international partners which has allowed the country to make progress," he added during a high-level of the AU-UN joint review team and international partners held in Mogadishu.

Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia said that a lasting peace in Somalia could only be forged if Somali's take the lead in rebuilding their country with the support of international partners.

"All the things that are showing up now, in this transition plan, were already at the centre of AMISOM's action plan. We need to build a state and building a state meant the Somalis needed to take responsibility not only of the military but also of the administration of the country," he added.

Madeira's said his vision for Somalia's transition plan is one where Al-Shabaab militants have been pushed out of major towns and supply routes secured before AMISOM troops hand over security responsibility to their Somali counterparts.

The head of the UN delegation tasked with reviewing AMISOM, Walid Musa Abdelkarim said that Somalia's political stock is climbing in the region.

"We now are convinced that the geopolitical position or status of Somalia is rising, increasing every day because of global events and therefore we will have this time a more serious tone in what we do," Abdelkarim noted.

The AU-UN joint review team is meeting in Somalia to prepare its report to the UN Security Council. Their report could impact the decision to extend AMISOM's mandate which will expire on May 31.

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