AMISOM to Handover Security to Somali Forces Ahead of Mission Withdrawal

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Sunday July 30, 2017 - 10:03:59 in Latest News by SomaliUpdate Staff Reporter
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    AMISOM to Handover Security to Somali Forces Ahead of Mission Withdrawal

    MOGADISHU (Somali Update Online) — Commanders of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali Federal Government on Saturday signed first ever agreement for transitioning of security responsibilities to the Somali security forces ah

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Defense Minister Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed and AU envoy Francisco Madeira shake hands after signing a communique on Transitioning Security Responsibilities from AMISOM to Somali National Security Forces in Mogadishu. | AU Photo.
MOGADISHU (Somali Update Online) — Commanders of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali Federal Government on Saturday signed first ever agreement for transitioning of security responsibilities to the Somali security forces ahead of the expected exit of the African Union (AU) mission.
Speaking to reporters in Mogadishu at the end of joint conference between Somali and AMISOM security officials, Defense Minister Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed said, Somalia's national army are ready to be deployed into the positions vacated by AMISOM.
"As a matter of fact, the AU mission will start withdrawing from Somalia, so what we want is that our forces strategically take over security responsibility and no security vacuum happens anywhere." the minister said.
The African Union Peacekeeping mission is now in its tenth year in Somalia, battling the Al-Qaeda-linked militant group and protecting the internationally-recognized government in Mogadishu.
In a communique released Saturday, at the end of the five-day joint meeting in Mogadishu, the two partners affirmed their commitment to the transition, as stipulated in recommendations of the London Conference on Somalia held in May 2017 which emphasized the need for building capable national forces to take over security mandate of Somalia.
They have also called for call for "adequate and predictable” funding to AMISOM, to enable the Mission capacitate the Somali National Security Forces (SNSF), to ready it for the transitioning of security responsibilities.
African Union envoy for Somalia Francisco Caetano Madeira, reiterated the transition will take place in a "gradual, conditions-based” manner, to ensure gains made against Al-Shabaab are not reversed.
"[I] Am very happy to say that these discussions were open, frank, they looked into everything and they came up with a very clear way forward. A clear approach and consensus,” he added.
Despite pushed out of major towns, Al-Shabab still poses threat to the security of the country as their fighters are now controlling large swathes of the rural villages in the south and central regions.
But Minister Mohamed says, the government made adequate preparations as he also hinted a planed joint operations across south and central Somalia to further disrupt and degrade Al-Shabaab.
"The operations will kick off very soon." the Defense Minister said.
The joint conference, meanwhile commended the current stabilization efforts in Mogadishu by the Federal Government of Somalia and the progress made in strengthening security in the regional states.

The AU mission in Somalia described as the most deadly peace operation undertaken in the modern era, has been facing numerous challenges among them last year’s financial cut by the European Union which pays the monthly allowances of the uniformed personnel.
The African Union last year announced its exit strategy which starts in 2018.

 


- SOMALI UPDATE ONLINE -


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