Somalia and Amisom start talks on security transition ahead of 2018 draw-down

Participants attend the opening of a Joint AMISOM and Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) conference in Mogadishu, Somalia, on July 24, 2017. AMISOM Photo/ Omar Abdisalan

Security chiefs and senior government officials are meeting with Amisom officials in a four day meeting in Mogadishu to map out a transition road map as Somalia prepares to take over from the African Union forces ahead of the 2018 phased draw-down.

The four day meeting opened by Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Guled and Amisom chief Francisco Caetano Madeira will deliberate on the implementation of the National Security Architecture derived from a security pact signed by Somalia’s leaders on 16 April 2017, a statement from Amisom said.

Speaking during the opening session Monday, the deputy PM said the conference will lay the foundation for the transition process while thanking the AU forces for the sacrifices in stablising the country

“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.

On his part, Amisom boss Madeira said the onus was on the two sides to come up with practical solutions which will provide a clear direction for transition.

“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,” Madeira.

The National Security Architecture presented to donors during the London Conference formed the basis for the Security Pact which donors said would make specific commitments in October aimed at building the capacity of Somali security forces to gradually take over from Amisom.

The Pact recommended a phased draw-down of Amisom from late 2018 based on the prevailing conditions and capacity of Somali security forces to take charge.

The Pact also roots for the integration of regional and federal forces capable of gradually taking lead responsibility for providing security in the country.

The Amisom chief said equipping and building the capacity of Somali forces is critical in enabling them effectively secure the country.

“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.”

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