With changing priorities in its Mission, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), is reviewing its Mission Implementation Plan, in order to fast track key activities, detailed in its Concept of Operations (CONOPS) document, which provides a comprehensive basis for conducting operations, including training and mentoring of the Somali Police and the Somali National Army – while at the same time, creating a useful framework for stabilization, civil-military activities, early recovery and reconstruction.
The AU Mission’s top leadership is meeting in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, to plan and draw a budget for crucial programmes and activities to be implemented under the new document.
“As our tradition dictates, every year, AMISOM undertakes a review of its Mission Implementation Plan. This ensures that AMISOM’s core activities are aligned with its ever-changing operational and strategic landscape,” Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, the AU Special Representative for Somalia said, during the official opening of the weeklong meeting on Monday.
The meeting will also serve as a budget-making platform, to ensure funding, to activities geared towards the implementation of tasks under the Somalia Transition Plan, as mandated by the UN Security Council Resolution 2431 (2018). The Plan sets priority activities to be undertaken by AMISOM before the 2020/2021 one-person-one-vote election.
Ambassador Madeira noted that progress has been made, with the handover of key public institutions to the Federal Government of Somalia. He noted that the AU Mission is also reconstituting its Forward Operation Bases (FOBs), as required, to ensure gains already made are secured, following the drawdown of uniformed personnel, as mandated by UN Security Council Resolutions 2317 of 2017 and 2431 of 2018.
“Looking ahead, as we plan for our 2020 activities, AMISOM will be expected to first review its 2019 MIP to enable the AU Mission adjust its activities in line with the new operational and strategic realities in Somalia,” Ambassador Madeira explained.
Under the new CONOPs, AMISOM will embark on securing the Main Supply Routes (MSRs), to allow free movement of goods and services and also ensure population centres and critical facilities are protected, to build on the gains already made in Somalia’s stabilization.
The Head of AMISOM reiterated that securing of MSRs and population centres will help create a conducive environment for institutional governance to take root and enable the public access social amenities such as health, education, sanitation and housing, among others.
To this end, AMISOM plans to establish a Rapid Response Force and conduct regular joint military operations with the Somali National Army to effectively combat Al-Shabaab insurgency, before the country’s one-person, one-vote election in 2020/2021.
Speaking at the same meeting, the Head of the AU Peace Support Operations Division (AUPSOD), Gen. Sivuyile Bam, challenged participants to come up with a comprehensive Mission Implementation Plan and Budget.
“The Mission Implementation Plan is significant in helping the mission achieve its mandate. It is a tool that will indicate how we are going to proceed and also help monitor and evaluate our activities,” said Gen. Bam.
The five-day meeting was formally opened by Kenya’s Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ababu Namwamba, who reiterated the country’s support for AMISOM and Somalia.
Mr. Namwamba noted that Somalia’s stability and prosperity would ensure lasting peace and security in the East and Horn of Africa region.
“AMISOM remains central to the Africa peace and security architecture,” he stated.
“Kenya will not waver in her commitment to the Mission. It is Kenya’s strong desire to have a peaceful, stable and prosperous Somalia and on behalf of the Government of Kenya, I laud AMISOM for the critical role it continues to play in Somalia, particularly in the fight against Al-Shabaab; and for all the achievements it has realized to date,” the top Kenya government official added, while thanking the United Nations, the European Union, and bilateral partners, for their continued support to AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia.
The meeting is also being attended by officials from the AMISOM civilian, military and police components and from the AU Peace Support Operations Division (AUPSOD).