The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 817th meeting held on 11 December 2018, considered the report of its field mission to Somalia that was undertaken from 26 to 28 November 2018 and adopted the following decision:
Takes note of the presentation of the Report of the PSC Field Mission to Somalia by the Permanent Representative of Djibouti to the African Union, H.E. Ambassador Idriss Mohammed Farah, his capacity as both, the PSC Chairperson for the month of November 2018 and the Head of the PSC Delegation during the field mission, as well as by the Acting Head of the PSC Secretariat, Mr. Amadou Diongue;
Also takes note of the progress made towards consolidating the gains made in stabilizing efforts in Somalia, in particular the adoption, by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), of four strategic pillars to drive actions on a number of critical areas, namely, security, economic recovery, inclusive politics and social justice and cohesion. Council further takes note of the progress also achieved by the FGS in promoting inclusive politics, the development of constitutional and legal frameworks for the 2020 elections, resource sharing with the Federal Member States (FMS), constitutional review, security sector reform and economic recovery. In this regard, Council commends the FGS and encourages it to remain committed and to persevere in its efforts;
Notes with concern the continued political tension between the FGS and some of the FMS, particularly, in view that the situation has the potential to negatively impact on the hard-won political, security and socio-economic gains made so far in Somalia. In this regard, Council stresses the urgent need for constructive engagement and genuine dialogue between the FGS and the FMS as the only viable approaches of addressing any differences that may occur, pending the adoption of a final federal constitution that will further clarify the relations between the FGS and the FMS. Council calls on all Somali stakeholders at the two different institutional levels to exert utmost restraint in this very challenging moments of the history of Somalia and further stresses the need for the creation of conducive conditions for the successful organization of credible regional elections in the FMS;
Reiterates the AU solidarity with the Government and people of Somalia in their efforts to completely defeat Al Shabaab and overcome the multifaceted challenges facing their country. Council also reiterates the unwavering commitment of the AU to continue to support Somalia in its efforts to find lasting solutions to the present challenges;
Encourages all efforts aimed at promoting national reconciliation and healing across all layers of the Somalia society, including youth and women;
Commends the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for the critical role it is playing in the fight against Al Shabaab and for the achievements made to date. In this regard, Council, once again, pays tribute to the troop and police contributing countries (TCCs/PCCs) and, in particular, to all AMISOM men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice at the service of peace, security and stability of Somalia and Africa as a whole.
Also commends AMISOM for facilitating the conduct of the AMISOM Operational Readiness Assessment (ORA) and the development of the new AMISOM Concept of Operations (CONOPs) 2018-2021. In this respect, Council takes note of the endorsement of the CONOPs by the AMISOM Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) and expresses its readiness to adopt it as soon as possible;
Takes note of the material, logistical and financial challenges facing AMISOM. In this regard, while expressing sincere gratitude to all partners for their continued support to AMISOM and to the FGS, Council appeals for redoubled efforts in mobilizing additional resources in order to enable the Mission to more effectively discharge its mandated tasks, in particular during the challenging transition period;
Stresses the need to expedite the implementation of the Somalia National Security Architecture. In this regard, Council underscores the importance of building the capacity of the Somalia national security forces (SNSF), including through the provision of necessary equipment, in order to enable the forces to effectively take over security responsibilities from AMISOM when it withdraws from Somalia in 2021. In the same context, Council also underscores the importance of ensuring transparency and coordination, as well as complementarity of efforts between and among all bilateral partners of Somalia who are providing capacity building support to the SNSF, with a view to ensuring the building of one credible Somali national army with one doctrine and equal training standards;
Also stresses the need for all stakeholders in Somalia to work together towards a smooth transition with regards to the progressive transfer of the primary responsibility in the maintenance of security from AMISOM to the SNSF and to ensure that this process is conducted in a manner that ensures the maintenance of the current momentum, as well as the preservation of the gains made so far, and avoids the creation of a security vacuum that could be capitalized by Al Shabaab;
Stresses the need of ensuring effective state authority and control by Somali relevant institutions in all areas liberated from Al Shabaab, among others, by ensuring the provision of basic public services and other peace dividends to the population. In this respect, Council commends AMISOM for its continued engagement with Somali civil society organizations and encourages the Mission to intensify these efforts within the framework of its civil-military relations and public diplomacy. In this context, Council underlines the importance of enhancing the civilian component of AMISOM and ensuring its presence in all Sectors of the Mission;
Stresses the importance of creating conducive conditions for encouraging the voluntary return and resettlement of both, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees;
Expresses its gratitude to the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM and the United Nations Support Office for Somalia (UNSOS) for facilitating the successful undertaking of the field mission in Somalia;
Decides to adopt the report of its field mission to Somalia, undertaken from 26 to 28 November 2018;
Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.