An African Union (AU) team is in Somalia to assess peacekeeping activities as the transfer of responsibilities from AU mission to Somali national security forces gains momentum, officials said on Wednesday.
The AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said the ten-men delegation from the AU Peace Support Operations Division arrived in Mogadishu on Tuesday for a four-day mission and is scheduled to hold talks with senior government, UN and AU mission officials.
“The discussions will focus on a wide range of issues among them peacekeeping activities, achievements made and challenges being experienced in securing Somalia and transfer of responsibilities to Somali national security forces among others,” said the AU mission.
Francisco Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia who held talks with the delegation explained that the delegation is in the country on a routine assessment mission.
“They have very specific objectives to see how we are working, what our challenges are; what are our relations with our hosts and how we plan for the transition,” Madeira said.
He noted that the delegation had frank discussions with the government of Somalia officials on issues focusing on peace and stability, noting that discussions also dwelt on the transition plan and the implementation challenges.
“We had the opportunity to speak frankly about the challenges we are facing; coordination activities; how to enhance interaction and unity, and particularly the political atmosphere and movement between us,” he added.
AMISOM has begun implementing a conditions based transition plan that will see it handing over the country’s security responsibilities to Somali national security forces.
The Peace Support Operations Division is mandated to plan, launch, sustain, monitor and liquidate all Peace Support Operations authorized by the AU.