25 JULY 2017
By Shabelle Media Network
A joint meeting of senior officials from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) opened in Mogadishu today, to lay groundwork for the transitioning of Somalia’s security from AMISOM to the country’s security forces.
The four-day meeting was officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister H.E Mahdi Mohamed Guled and the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira.
“The question is, how we as AMISOM, how we as SNA, how we as Somali National Security Forces are going to fit into these decisions and recommendations; and what we need to do to implement these decisions and attain the final result,” SRCC Madeira said in his opening remarks.
In April, Somalia’s leaders made a security pact that resulted in the establishment of a National Security Architecture, in which they commit to taking a lead in providing security in the country, including securing recovered areas. The Somali-led security forces would also open Main Supply Routes and provide security for the 2021 elections.
During the May 2017 London Somali Conference, recommendations encouraged an effective transitional role by AMISOM, on a conditions based transition. “Which is the effective empowerment of the SNSF for them to be able to effectively take the lead in the security effort of the country as AMISOM and partners to play the supporting role,” Amb. Madeira explained.
The meeting is being jointly steered by the Somali Federal Minister of Defence Mr. Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed and the AMISOM Force Commander Lt. General Osman Noor Soubagleh. In attendance are AMISOM and SNA’s senior military commanders, Somali and AU Police and key partners.
Ambassador Madeira emphasized the importance of equipping and facilitating the Somali National Security Forces (SNSF), to effectively strengthen them and ensure a smooth transition.
“The Somali National Security Forces need to be capacitated in all fields and need to be given the required equipment, the required mobility, the required weapons to be able to perform,” he stressed.
In his remarks, the Deputy Prime Minister lauded AMISOM for the support it has accorded the people and the government of Somalia “until this critical moment in history”.
“We bear witness that our African brothers answered our call at our darkest moment and we bear testimony that AMISOM helped change the trajectory of this nation from one of despair to one of hope,” he said.
“It is with that optimism that am convinced that this conference between the Federal Government of Somalia and AMISOM will lay the foundation for successful transition, which we all want and is in our collective interest,” the Deputy Prime Minister added.
H.E Guled urged the meeting to come up with clear goals and accountability mechanisms to implement the transition. “I want to ask you all to remember that we are at this present positive trajectory because many of our finest men and women, both SNSF and AMISOM have made the ultimate sacrifice; and a successful transition will be about honoring their sacrifice; as it is, bringing peace and prosperity back to the Somali nation,” he stated.
The meeting will discuss in detail the implementation of the National Security Architecture derived from a security pact signed by Somalia’s leaders on 16 April 2017. The pact roots for the integration of regional and federal forces capable of gradually taking lead responsibility for providing security in the country.