Somalia holds high-level security conference to deliberate on a security transition plan

4 Dec 2017

Somalia holds high-level security conference to deliberate on a security transition plan

Mogadishu – A high-level security conference on Somalia has agreed to an “urgent development of realistic, conditions-based transition plan”, to transfer the national security responsibility from the AU Mission in Somalia, to the Somali security forces.

“This plan must be guided by the rule of law, respect for human rights and should include countering violent extremism, stabilization and governance,” the communique issued by the Federal Minister of Information Mr. Abdirahman Omar Osman, reads in part.

The conference held in the capital Mogadishu, also agreed to the development of a plan for the process of the transition by December 31, 2017, “with a view of completing a draft transition plan, before a Joint Review of AMISOM in 2018”.

“This will need close cooperation and partnership between the FGS (Federal Government of Somalia) and FMS (Federal Member States), and between the Somali government and AMISOM, in order to ensure clear outcomes”.

Under the transition plan, a strategy will be put in place, to set out conditions for the transition. It will among other things provide for “affordable, accountable and acceptable forces”, capable of providing security across Somalia.

“AMISOM will continue to support the transition, through priority tasks, set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2372”, the communique adds.

The tasks which will be undertaken through joint efforts between AMISOM and SNA, include securing of Main Supply Routes, securing of key population centres; as well as mentoring the Somali security forces in the military and Police.

Participants agreed to an immediate implementation of the National Security Architecture, which is central to achieving sustainable security reform, and a transition of primary responsibility of security from AMISOM to the Somali security forces.

Priority areas for implementation include the integration of regional forces into the Somali security forces.

Continued international support to build the capacity of Somali security forces and relevant institutions, was also highlighted for immediate action.

The Somali Security Conference was officially opened by the President of the Federal Government of Somalia H.E Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo”, who underlined the progress made, towards implementing key security reforms and enhancing unity between the Federal Government and Federal Member States.

“The Operational Readiness Assessment is completed and we have learned the strengths, gaps and lessons for the Police and National Army. We will use this as a springboard to identify and implement necessary reforms,” President Farmaajo said in his opening remarks.

He added, “We have begun the process of biometric registration of our soldiers for direct payment in bank accounts”.

The President said the government’s priority was to fast track plans for a capable, accountable and integrated security forces, to enable the country provide a safe environment for the people of Somalia.

His government, he stressed, was committed to take the lead in the security sector, but noted an urgent need to capacitate the Somali security forces, before transitioning of the security responsibilities to them.

The AU Special Representative for Somalia Ambassador Francisco Caetano emphasized unity of Somali leaders, as a key prerequisite for achieving lasting peace. He said security reforms in Somalia cannot be effectively implemented in the absence of unity.

“Extreme poverty, insurgence, intolerance, entrenched community grievances, ideological competition, violent extremism and terrorism are some of the important factors influencing the recurrent volatile political and security environment in the country. The unity of the Somali leadership is needed for these challenges to be tackled and addressed comprehensively, concurrently and with renewed determination,” he noted.

Ambassador Madeira stressed urgent provision of resources from the international community to enable AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces successfully execute their respective mandates.

“The generosity of our partners is called upon to come because when we succeed in defeating Al Shabaab in this country, we all stand to gain. The African Union stands to gain because the continent will be more peaceful and the possibility of achieving our main goal of developing the continent will be reached. Somalia will stand to gain, because the people of Somalia will have better conditions to develop themselves and the international partners, will also stand to gain, because trade, commerce and international relations will be much improved,” Ambassador Madeira said.

Convened by the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM and the UN, the thrust of the Security Conference was the progress of the Comprehensive Approach to Security in the country, as a follow-up to the May 2017 London Conference.