PRESS RELEASE: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 392ndmeeting held on 26 August 2013, was briefed by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission, Head of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), on the situation in Somalia and the operations of AMISOM on the ground.Council also followed the statements made by the representative of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), as well as by those of the Republic of Kenya, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development(IGAD), the European Union (EU),the League of Arab States, the United Nations (UN), through its Special Representative for Somalia, France, United Kingdom, United States of America and Rwanda, in their capacity as members of the UN Security Council, and the Chair of the IGAD Partner Forum (IPF).
Council recalled that, over the past two years, tremendous progress has been made in the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia, as demonstrated by the security gains recorded on the ground and the successful conclusion of the Transition and the establishment of a new political dispensation. Council, once again, commended the Somali stakeholders for these achievements.
Council reiterated the primary responsibility of the Somali stakeholders in achieving lasting peace and reconciliation in their country. Council called on them to demonstrate selfless leadership and commitment to the higher interest of their country, stressing that no amount of external assistance can substitute Somali-led efforts.In this respect, Council underlined the importance of inclusive dialogue among the Somali stakeholders and sustained efforts towards national reconciliation, as the only way to sustain the remarkable achievements made, at great sacrifices, by the Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) and AMISOM and fulfill the aspirations of the people of Somalia for a country at peace with itself and with its neighbors.
Council welcomed the ongoing discussions, in Addis Ababa, under the auspices of the IGAD Chair, Ethiopia, between the FGS and Juba region stakeholders, and commended the Facilitator, the Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, for his sustained efforts. Council stressed the imperative for the Parties to extend full cooperation to IGAD and show the required flexibility and spirit of compromise, in order toexpeditiously reach an agreement. Council requested the IGAD Facilitator to keep it constantly informed of the evolution of the discussions, in order to enable it take decisions on the matter, as appropriate.Council encouraged the convening of the larger reconciliation conference in Mogadishu, as agreed upon at the 22nd extraordinary session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Addis Ababa, on 24 May 2013.
Council expressed grave concern about the deteriorating security situation in some parts of Somalia. Council condemned the recent AlShabaab terrorist activities that have resulted in the loss of innocent civilian lives and destruction of property. Against this background, and bearing in mind the operational limits facing AMISOM and the SNSF, Councilreiterated the need and urgency to mobilize further support, for both the Mission and the SNSF, to enable them to undertake further expansion operations as envisaged in the AU-UN Strategic Concept for future operations in Somalia. In this regard, Council, as indicated in paragraph 11 of communiqué PSC/PR/COMM(CCCLXXIX), adopted at its 379thmeeting, held on 13 June 2013, looks forward to the benchmarking exercise that will be undertaken by the UN Secretariat and the AU Commission in the context of paragraph 19 of UN Security Council resolution 2093 (2013). Council expressed the hope that the exercise would result into concrete and action-oriented recommendations for the enhancement of the capacity of AMISOM and the SNSF, in particular with regard to force enablers and multipliers, to create conditions that would make it possible to deploy, in due course, a UN operation to support the long-term stabilization and reconstruction of Somalia.
Council, having emphasized, once again, the need for a coordinated action of the international community and renewed efforts to consolidate the gains made so far, welcomed the planned convening in Brussels, on 16 September 2013, of a High-Level Conference on A New Deal for Somalia, co-hosted by Somalia and the EU, with the underlying objective to sustain the positive momentum in Somalia, to ensure that the country stays on the path to stability and peace, and brings prosperity to its people.
Council commended, once again, AMISOM for its outstanding contribution to the improvement of the security situation in Somalia, the stabilization of the country and furtherance of the reconciliation process. Council reiterated its appreciation to AMISOM troop and police contributing countries- TCCs and PCCs (Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda, Nigeria and the countries providing individual police officers), as well as to Ethiopia, for their commitment and sacrifices. Council welcomed the convening of the Kampala Summit of 4 August 2013, which brought together the TCCs and PCCs, Ethiopia and Somalia. Council also reiterated its appreciation to IGAD for its continued and active contribution to the quest of peace and reconciliation in Somalia.
Council, once more, expressed AU’s gratitude to the EU and its Member States, the UN and bilateral partners, notably the United Kingdom and the United States, for their invaluable contribution to the peace and reconciliation efforts in Somalia.
Council reaffirmed the AU’s full support to Somalia and its people, emphasizing its commitment to continue to support the stabilization and reconstruction efforts, including the implementation of the Government’s Six-Pillar Strategy.