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Communique of the 1037th Meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council on Somalia

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PSC/PR/COMM. 1037(2021)

COMMUNIQUE

Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 1037th meeting held on 7 October 2021 on the Briefing on the Situation in Somalia and the status of the consultations on the Independent Assessment Report on AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Post-2021,

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling all its previous decisions on the situation in Somalia and the future of AMISOM, particularly Communique [PSC/PR/COMM.2 (CMXCIV)], adopted at its 994th meeting held on 11 May 2021, the Summary Records of its meetings held on 30 August 2021 and on 30 July 2021, as well as United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2568 (2021);

Noting the opening remarks by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Mozambique to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for the month of October 2021, H.E. Ambassador Alfredo Nuvunga and the briefings by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye and by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, H.E. Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, as well as the statements delivered by the Minister of Defence of the Federal Government of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Hussein Haji, and by the representative of Sudan, as the Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD);

Re-affirming its unwavering commitment to respect the unity, territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,

  1. Commends AMISOM and all Troop and Police Contributing Countries (TCCs/PCCs), as well as the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission to Somalia, for their efforts towards the stabilization of Somalia; pays tribute to the AMISOM personnel for their continued sacrifices in support of peace, security and stability in Somalia over the past 14 years and underlines the importance of preserving the gains recorded thus far;

  2. Welcomes the working visit at technical level to Somalia and the consultations undertaken by the AU Commission from 17 to 18 August 2021 with the Federal Government of Somalia which led to a signed Joint Statement between the Federal Government of Somalia and the African Union Commission on the steps towards agreement on post-2021 AU Mission in Somalia;

  3. Takes note of the progress made by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), particularly the efforts by the Federal Election Implementation Team (FEIT) to conduct the ongoing indirect elections, as well as the progress made in the finalization of the elections for the Upper House; commends the AU Commission, including through AMISOM, for its technical, capacity building and financial support to the elections, and urges all Somali stakeholders to re-focus on concluding the overdue elections without further delay;

  4. Expresses deep concern at the continuing political dispute within the FGS between the Office of the President and the Office of the Prime Minister, which further exacerbates the already difficult political situation including between the FGS, FMS and political stakeholders, has a significant impact on ongoing political processes, and causes delays in the conduct of the indirect electoral process, as well as in the discussions between the FGS and the AU and other international partners on the post-2021 AU mission;

  5. Regrets that the prolonged delay towards the finalization of agreement on critical issues related to institutions of governance, including the constitution, the governance architecture, and the electoral system, contributes to the present political impasse in the country;

  6. Expresses grave concern at the worsening security situation in Somalia, which has seen a worrying resurgence in the activities of Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups in large parts of the country, and has detracted attention from the critical processes of state-building and stabilization;

  7. Reiterates that the combination of military intervention, state-building, governance and stabilization through post-conflict reconstruction and development remain central pillars in the fight against terrorism in Somalia; in this regard, underlines its concern that the ongoing political stand-off between the Office of the President and the Office of the Prime Minister is contributing to the worsening security situation, as the political authorities find their attention distracted from governance matters;

  8. Notes with concern the delays in the negotiations of the post-2021 AU engagement in Somalia, including the nature of the mission that would replace AMISOM, the joint report on the mandate of the new mission, as well as the new Concept of Operations, whose original deadlines for submission to Council and to the UN Security Council, as outlined in UN Security Council resolution 2568 (2021), have already lapsed; in this regard, emphasizes that the continued delays put in jeopardy the efforts to secure a comprehensive agreement on all aspects related to the follow-on mission post-2021;

  9. Endorses the Independent Assessment Report titled “Report on the African Union’s Engagement In and With Somalia Post-2021”, particularly its conclusions and recommendations, which provides a solid basis for consideration of a future mission to replace AMISOM in post-2021; and commends the Independent Assessment Team of Experts for the their efforts;

  10. Conveys its profound appreciation to the AU’s partners for the support given to the AU and to AMISOM over the past 14 years, in particular the European Union (EU) and the UN, which have been faithful partners for the entire life of the AMISOM; notes, in light of the change in funding priorities in the EU, the replacement of the African Peace Facility with the European Peace Facility, necessitating a new approach by the AU to sustain its engagement in Somalia post-2021;

  11. Decides, in this regard, to endorse Option 1 of the Independent Assessment Report, namely to establish an AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia, deployed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which would ensure predictable and sustainable multi-year financing for the future mission, through UN assessed contributions;

  12. Underscores in particular the need for such a mission to adopt a holistic and comprehensive multidimensional approach, beyond security and stabilization; while stressing that this approach should have balanced military and police components capable of addressing the threat identified in the country, as well as a strengthened civilian component to provide a robust political engagement that can assist the political process and the Somali authorities in finalizing key governance arrangements and institutions, while noting the expected contribution of the AU PCRD Centre in Cairo;

  13. Requests the AU and the UN, in consultation with the FGS and the international donors, to finalize as a matter of urgency the joint report on the strategic objectives, mandate, size and composition of the AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia, as called for in UN Security Council Resolution 2568 (2021), to be submitted to the PSC and the UN Security Council by the end of 2021; emphasizes that the joint report should address all support mechanisms to the follow-on mission and the FGS, including the realignment of political and logistical support provided by the UN Assistance Mission in Somali (UNSOM) and the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS);

  14. Further requests the AU, the UN and the FGS to prepare a joint Concept of Operations based on the joint report mentioned in paragraph 13 above and to establish a mechanism which would allow for the T/PCCs to engage in these discussions;

  15. Mandates the AU Commission immediately to begin consultations with the UN, the FGS, and other key stakeholders, on the modalities for transitioning to an AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Somalia, including a provision for expansion of the pool of T/PCCs to other willing and interested AU Member States;

  16. Appeals to the UN Security Council, in light of the complexity of the discussions on such a transition and the fragility of security situation in Somalia, and in order to ensure that there is no disruption which could heighten the security threat posed by Al Shabaab, to consider a technical roll-over of the AMISOM mandate, while discussions continue on the details and modalities for transition towards the post-2021 arrangement;

  17. Calls on the African Members (A3) in the UN Security Council to promote and advocate for the option on transition to an AU-UN Multidimensional Transition Mission in Somalia as adopted in this Communique and to engage with other members of the Security Council to ensure a favourable outcome to these discussions;

  18. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to transmit this Communique and the ‘Report on the African Union’s Engagement In and With Somalia Post-2021’ to the UN Secretary General and the A3 and to report back to Council in 6 weeks’ time on the status of implementation of this Communique; and

  19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.