Somalilandsun- A high-level meeting between senior AMISOM and Somali security officials was held on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, to discuss modalities for joint implementation of the AMISOM Concept of Operations (CONOPS). The CONOPS document provides an effective framework for implementation of the AU troops’ gradual transition and final exit from Somalia.
The meeting held in Mogadishu was attended by Francisco Caetano Madeira, the AU Special Representative for Somalia, who is also the Head of AMISOM; the AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Jim Owoyesigire and Christine Alalo, the Acting AMISOM Police Commissioner.
The delegation from the Federal Government was led by the National Security Adviser, Abdi Said Muse Ali and Maj. Gen. Dahir Adan Elmi, the Somalia Chief of Defence Forces. Ambassador Madeira underscored the importance of re-organising the AU troops and the Somali National Army (SNA), ahead of the drawdown of 1,000 troops from the Burundi contingent in February.
“The Transition is about supporting governance institutions in a robust and effective way to ensure peace and security in Somalia. It is important for AMISOM and SNA to undertake joint military operations to flush out Al-Shabaab,” Amb. Madeira stressed. The Head of AMISOM noted that the transition was on course, citing the handover of the Mogadishu National Stadium last August and ongoing preparations by AMISOM to relinquish control of Jaalle Siyaad Military Academy in Mogadishu to the Somali Security Forces by the end of February 2019.
Somalia’s National Security Adviser, Abdi Said Muse Ali, expressed the Federal Government’s gratitude to AMISOM for its commitment in supporting the right-sizing and generation of forces, under the security sector reform. He called for a comprehensive approach in the planning of military operations and the development of effective communication and stabilisation plans. “We welcome the opportunity to continue with our joint operations and I want to assure you that all operations will be conducted with full respect and adherence to Human Rights,” he said.
Somalia’s Chief of Defence Forces, Maj. Gen. Dahir Adan Elmi, reiterated that Somalia’s priority areas in the Transition Plan had not changed. The meeting discussed in detail, a wide range of security matters, including joint operations, securing of Main Supply Routes and population centres, which it noted, require collaborative efforts. AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces are key stakeholders in the implementation of CONOPS, which guides the Transition Plan over the next three years and the gradual transfer of security responsibilities from AMISOM to Somali National Security Forces.