The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) commanders ended their three-day meeting in Mogadishu on Monday featuring further enhance coordination with the Somali security forces to implement the transition plan. Under the transition plan, the AU mission will transfer security responsibility to Somali security forces ahead of AMISOM’s anticipated exit in 2021.
Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia who closed the meeting, lauded the Somali security forces for carrying out recent offensives to liberate areas in the Lower Shabelle region. “This commitment shows that Somalia wants to move forward despite existing challenges. The work of their national forces deserves increased support,” Madeira said in a statement issued after the meeting. The commanders, along with their Somali counterparts, met in Mogadishu to evaluate the progress made in implementing the mission’s concept of operations (CONOPs). The CONOPs provides a framework to guide the implementation of AMISOM’s gradual transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali security forces and exit from Somalia.
During the meeting, the commanders also discussed the operational readiness of the Somali security forces, which is crucial to the successful implementation of the Somali transition plan. Madeira lauded the Somali government and international partners for supporting AMISOM to fulfil its mandate. “I recognize the role our partners are playing in training and creating the conditions necessary for operations to take place. We are implementing the Somali Transition Plan and the AMISOM exit strategy. The progress made so far indicates that we are on track in executing our mandate,” he said.OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“ Every drought depletes their assets: their animals will die, their crops will fail, they will have nothing to sell and next season they won’t have money to buy seeds to plant again. In desperation, pastoralists sell their animals at a giveaway price, leaving them even more vulnerable. Doing so significantly reduces their number of cattle to below the minimum threshold required to continue raising livestock. At this point, they begin to flee and become displaced, often in informal camps near urban settlements.”