The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army (SNA) have committed to enhancing coordination on joint military operations to counter the threat posed by Al-Shabaab terrorists.
The AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya, the SNA Commander Land Forces, Brig Gen Abas Amin Ali, and AMISOM and SNA sector commanders, on Thursday, agreed as a matter of importance to establish a Joint Operations Coordination Cell.
The signed agreement fulfils a requirement by the UN Security Council Resolution 2520 (2020) for AMISOM to reconfigure and enhance its operations. It is also in line with the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) communiqué 923rd and the Head of Mission's directive to the Force Commander to establish mobile and quick reaction forces within AMISOM's Area of responsibility.
Following the agreement, AMISOM and SNA will jointly conduct targeted offensive operations against Al-Shabaab and liberate territories ahead of the transfer of security responsibilities to Somali security forces.
Lt. Gen. Ndegeya said, "the mission is taking a new direction as we get to the end stage and prepare the transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali security forces. The reconfiguration will enable us to maintain operational effectiveness, conduct offensives, and respond to threats in our Area of responsibility."
The SRCC and Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Madeira noted the reconfiguration of AMISOM was necessary for the mission to adapt to the AMISOM troop reductions as part of the phased drawdown recommended by the UN Security Council.
Ambassador Madeira also thanked Somalia's international partners for their support in establishing a quick reaction force for the Somali National Army.
"I'm happy that each sector commanders have committed to look for their Somali counterparts. The Somalis have also committed to looking for their AMISOM counterparts to coordinate, discuss, and experience the action together," said Ambassador Madeira.
The signing of the agreement marked the conclusion of a three-day sector commanders conference where AMISOM and SNA commanders reviewed progress in conducting operations and planning future operations in line with the revised Concept of Operations (CONOPs) 2018-2021.
The SNA Commander Land Forces, Brig. Gen. Abas said it was significant to collaborate with AMISOM.
"We hope that our collaboration continues and succeeds against the enemy (Al-Shabaab) and liberating the remaining territories," said Brig. Gen. Abas.
The AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Ndegeya pledged AMISOM military component's readiness to support the National Electoral Security Task Force to safeguard Somalia's upcoming electoral process.