AU Peace and Security Council delegation concludes working visit to Somalia
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AU Peace and Security Council delegation concludes working visit to Somalia

The African Union Peace and Security Council delegation which has been on a three-day working visit to Somalia, to assess the security and political situation in the country, has concluded their mission.

The delegation led by Mr. Mohamed Idriss, the Djibouti Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, returned to Addis Ababa this afternoon, after holding successful deliberations with senior Federal Government officials, leaders of the Federal Member States, AMISOM, the UN and representatives of the civil society, among them youth, media and minority groups.

“The AU Peace and Security Council takes the issue (of Somalia) seriously and will in the coming days examine the situation in Somalia,” said Mr. Idriss, shortly before the delegation’s departure from the country.

He said findings from their visit will be shared with relevant bodies, including with leaders from the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to AMISOM.

“The military chiefs from the Troop Contributing Countries will meet on 30 November 2018. We hope that the outcome of this meeting will inform the adoption of the new Concept of Operations, which is the framework for AMISOM’s exit strategy,” he stated, noting that the AU Peace and Security Council will be seeking to validate resolutions from the Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) meeting, which brings together all military chiefs from the TCCs, key partners and AMISOM leadership.

While in the country, the delegation held talks with Prime Minister H.E Hassan Ali Khaire and other senior Federal Government officials. “10 years ago, Somalia was a country forgotten, with little hope for prosperity. Today we are re-emerging in the eyes of the international community and being a pride of the continent, as a functioning developing state and no longer a failed state,” Khaire told the delegation, during their meeting at the presidential palace (Villa Somalia), in the capital Mogadishu.

The Prime Minister highlighted his government’s key priorities, which include defeating terrorism. While affirming the government’s commitment to defend the gains hard-fought by AMISOM and the Somali security forces, Khaire appealed to the African Union to remain a voice and advocate for Somalia’s cause at international fora.

The delegation, keen to ensure the successful implementation of the Transition Plan, within the framework of the country’s National Security Architecture, also sought to know the progress made in the transitioning of national security responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somali National Security Forces as per the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2372 of 2017 and 2431 of 2018, as well as the Communique of the 782nd meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council.

“By coming here, they now have a much better perception and understanding of the issues at stake in Somalia. And they are better informed on the decisions they are going to take and what action needs to be taken,” said the AU Special Representative for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira.

The visit coincided with preparations for elections in the Federal Member States. The team visited Baidoa, the administrative capital of the South West State, where presidential elections are due in December, and held separate closed door meetings with the acting President of the state Mr. Abdikadir Sharif Shekuna and five candidates who are vying for the presidency.

“We called on everybody to ensure the conduct of a peaceful and fair election,” Ambassador Idriss stated. “We cannot return to the past because this will not only affect Somalia, but the entire continent of Africa,” he added.

“We are in the final stages of preparations for the South West State presidential election and it was therefore an honor to receive this delegation and share with them information regarding the upcoming election,” said the acting South West State President.

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