The African Union Peace and Security Council (AU PSC), Wednesday held discussions in Mogadishu with Somalia’s Prime Minister, Hamza Abdi Barre, focusing on the AU’s support in the implementation of the Somalia Transition Plan.
Prime Minister Barre told the visiting AU delegation that the government of Somalia remains fully committed to developing the capacity of its security institutions to take over completely security responsibilities from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), as called for in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2628, and the AU Peace and Security Council Communique in its 1068th meeting.
“We look forward to closer collaboration and effective coordination with ATMIS and the AU PSC, as well as increased support in areas of skills transfer, as well as equipment and logistical support for our security forces,” the Prime Minister said during the meeting.
“With the AU’s support, we are determined to launch a forceful and comprehensive fight to counter Al-Shabaab, ISIS and other terrorist organizations through military and non-military means,” he added.
The Prime Minister underscored the importance of preserving the gains made so far in the fight against violent extremism, and continuing the current momentum by intensifying joint military offensive operations to re-open main supply routes that are important to humanitarian efforts, commercial activities and the free movement of people.
“We had a fruitful discussion with His Excellency the Prime Minister focusing on ATMIS support to Somalia, and also the exit strategy. We looked at what has been undertaken so far to ensure the successful exit of ATMIS by 31 December 2024,” said Ambassador Abdi Mahamoud Eybe, who is leading the AU delegation.
The matter of joint coordination between ATMIS and the Somali Security Forces was discussed during a closed-door meeting between the AU delegation and Somalia’s National Security Advisor, Hussein Sheik Ali, the Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Abdihakim Ashkir, and other senior government officials.
“Regarding the transition, the government of Somalia will respect the agreed time frame of 30 months for ATMIS to handover to its security forces. We commit to work closely with the African Union to ensure a smooth and orderly transition process,” National Security Advisor, Sheik Ali, said after the meeting.
Later, the AU delegation met with the United Nations Special Envoy for Somalia, James Swan, and the Head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia, Assistant Secretary General Lisa Filipetto.
Mr Swan spoke of the UN’s commitment to coordinate with ATMIS on security matters and other critical national priorities that support the Somali national agenda, as recently outlined by President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud. These priorities include reconciliation with Federal Member States, completing the constitutional review process, preparing collectively for future elections, and responding with urgency to the drought situation currently devastating many parts of Somalia.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).