By T. Roble
GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Somalia has eased its stance on the post AMISOM security framework in the country noting it was willing to continue negotiating with the African Union despite its earlier positioning rejecting the AU fronted proposal.
Speaking during the meeting with the 15 member of the AU Peace and Security Council, Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Abdirizak however accused the African Union (AU) of failing to consider Somalia’s proposals on the way forward in light of the expected withdrawal of AMISOM from the country.
“The fact is that there is nothing to be gained without the consent of the host country. The transition plan will be the position of the Federal Government of Somalia, not only this administration, but also it is the future administration of the country,” the minister said.
But in an interview following the meeting with a delegation from the AU Peace and Security Council Abdirizak said Somalia was amenable to negotiation.
“In the transition process, Somalia has insisted on its proposal being accepted. Even if our plan is adopted by AMISOM and backed by the United Nations, we will continue to negotiate for some time, but unfortunately, it has not been implemented in the first place and that is where the disagreement is,” Abdirizak said.
Somalia had stood ground against a proposal by the African Union to deploy an AU-UN Stabilisation Force to take over from AMISOM as of December 2022. The continental body argued that the hybrid force would be shielded from challenges that bogged down AMISOM including unpredictable funding and uncoordinated command structure.
Somali Transition Plan
However, Somalia rejected the proposal and instead stuck with a plan mooted by the Federal Government and the Federal Member States in 2018 dubbed the Somali Transition Plan. Overall, the plan envisages a gradual handover of responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somali Security Forces.
The Plan was endorsed by the 769th meeting of the Peace and Security Council on 30 April 2018, and subsequently presented and endorsed at a high-level meeting of the international community on security in Brussels, Belgium, on 2 May 2018.
However, its implementation has been marked by slow progress. For instance, the first phase involved three stages notably the handover of Mogadishu Stadium by AMISOM to the Federal Government, capture and stabilization of the strategic Leego town in South-West state and opening up the Main Supply Routes (MSR) between Mogadishu and Baidoa.
Only one milestone- handover of the stadium has been realised.
The final phase of the STP which envisaged full security responsibility in the hands of the Somali Security Forces was expected to conclude in December 2021.