Somalia agrees to develop transition plan ahead of AU troops exit

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-04 23:42:06|Editor: yan
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MOGADISHU, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Somalia has agreed to develop a transition plan immediately with support of the international community ahead of exit of African Union troops.

Participants at the day-long Somalia Security Conference agreed that work would begin at once on a realistic, phased, conditions-based transition plan with clear target dates to transfer security responsibility from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to the Somali security forces.

"As a first step all stakeholders would develop a process to plan for transition by Dec. 31 with a view to completing a draft transition plan before the Joint Review of AMISOM requested by the Security Council in 2018," they said in a joint statement.

The meeting, which brought together representatives of the government and federal member states, the AU, UN, EU and other international partners, said the transition plan will need close cooperation and partnership between the government, federal member states and AMISOM, in order to achieve clear outcomes.

"The transition plan will lay the foundations for activity over the coming months and years and will set out the strategy, priorities, milestones and conditions for transition, including on stabilization and state-building activities as well as military, police and justice plans, in order to ensure a lasting peace," they said.

"These should be affordable, accountable, and acceptable forces, able to provide security across Somalia. They will require transparent and effective financial and human resources systems in place, and frameworks to ensure human rights compliance as a matter of urgency," it added.

The pan African troops are expected to relinquish the security of the key towns, to the Somali forces, through a conditions based transition plan, to allow them take the lead responsibility as part of the planed exit.

Under the exit strategy, some 1,000 soldiers will be withdrawn from Somalia by Dec. 31 and AMISOM will deploy extra 500 police officers who will strengthen training and mentoring for Somali Police.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, widely known as Farmajo, who opened the conference, called for donor support to strengthen the capacity of the country's security forces in preparation ahead of exit by AU troops to help secure the gains made.

"The current security requirement far exceeds our economic means and we urgently request the international community to increase its diverse and generous support if we are to protect the gains we have made thus far," Farmajo said.

The Somali leader admitted that financing the security sector presents a huge challenge for which Mogadishu has to find sustainable solution with timely commitment from the donor community.

"We must address the critical security gaps before transitioning security operations and full responsibility to well trained, equipped and supported Somali security forces," Farmajo said.

During the conference, government institutions committed to continue to lead the implementation of the National Stabilization Strategy to tackle the underlying drivers of conflict and set the conditions for economic growth.

They said civilian-led stabilization interventions will remain critical to consolidating security gains and extending the legitimacy and credibility of the authorities.

"All Somali's leaders agreed to continue to initiate local solutions to prevent recruitment and radicalization to violent extremism and enable effective human rights protection, conflict resolution, including through local governance structures and civil society," they said.

Participants also recognized the roles of youth, women and local reconciliation efforts to prevent further recruitment and radicalization and will prevent and counter violent extremism and terrorism as a durable, sustainable and long term solution.

AMISOM promised to continue supporting the transition through the priority tasks including securing main supply routes, securing key population centers, to mentor and assist Somali security forces, both military and police, in close collaboration with the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and in line with the National Security Architecture.

The pan African body also committed to further degrading Al-Shabaab, and implementing the transition process by continuing joint AMISOM-Somalia National Army (SNA) efforts in executing these tasks.