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The Council decided  that the post-ATMIS Mission must be given a strong political mandate, with scope, size, posture, composition, and duration aligning with existing security threats and Somalia Security Forces readiness and capacity to assume full security responsibilities.

The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council(PSC) has endorsed the establishment of a new AU-led Mission for Somalia to succeed African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

In a communique released after the 1217th meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday, the PSC emphasized that that the new AU-led Mission should focus on supporting Somalia to further degrade the Al Shabaab terrorist group.

The Council also stated that the new mission should further provide security and prioritize the protection of civilians in Somalia.

Further the PSC maintained that the new Mission should prioritise support to the security and political stabilisation of Somalia.

“The new AU-led Mission should also assist the stabilization and security of Somalia, enabling state-building priorities and ensuring a coherent and orderly transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali authorities and increasingly capable security force,” PSC said.

It also tasked the new mission wih establishing of clear lines of communication, joint planning processes, centralized command, control andd co-ordination structure as recommended in the Joint Technical Assessment.

The PSC welcomed  the progress made in Somalia since the deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2007 and its reconfiguration to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) in April 2022.

The Council decided  that the post-ATMIS Mission must be given a strong political mandate, with scope, size, posture, composition, and duration aligning with existing security threats and Somalia Security Forces readiness and capacity to assume full security responsibilities.

Additionally the council decided  that the mandate of the post-ATMIS mission should respond to Somalia’s political and security realities and provide realistic timelines tailored to Somalia’s requirements and ATMIS aspiration for a smooth, orderly, successful, and clearly benchmarked incremental transition of security responsibility to the Somali security forces.

 

“In this regard, the PSC requests the AU Commission, in consultations with ATMIS, the FGS and all relevant stakeholders, to submit, by the end of July 2024, a Concept of Operations (CONOPs) that proposes a mandate and configuration for the new mission, and clear benchmarks and timelines for the transition from ATMIS to the new mission as well as the duration of the new Mission,” the PSC said.

Further, the Council requested the AU Commission, in consultation with the UN Secretariat, to develop financing options for the new Mission, including through UN Security Council Resolution 2719 (2023) along with establishment of additional complementary financing sources to guarantee financial stability for the mission.

The PSC further said that that it “strongly supports” the submission by Somalia on May 17and 17 requesting a phased approach to the Phase 3 Drawdown of ATMIS, with the 4000 personnel divided into two tranches that will see 2000 troops leave by the end of June 2024 and 2000 by the end of September 2024.

The council noted that that the exit of ATMIS needs to be carefully harmonised with the follow-on mission that replaces it, including the harmonisation of TCCs, to ensure that there is no security gap between December 31, 2024 and January, 1 2025.

“In this regard the PSC, requests the AU Commission to undertake consultations, in collaboration with the TCCS, FGS, and UN and report back to Council by the end of July 2024, on how to ensure a smooth transition to the new AU-led mission without leaving a vacuum,” the PSC stated.

The Council reiterated the AU’s solidarity with the people government of Somalia in their aspirations for durable peace, security, stability, and prosperity, which will they say will benefit the Horn of Africa region and the Continent as a whole. By Bruhan Makong, Capital News

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