On her inaugural visit to Somalia, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, on Sunday called on the leadership of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to discuss the mission’s work in Somalia.
The discussions included AMISOM’s priorities, operations, and challenges. AMISOM officials briefed the ASG on progress made so far to implement the mission’s mandate in line with the Somalia Transition Plan; its partnership and collaboration with Somali Security Forces (SSF); and efforts to secure the ongoing electoral process.
The Head of AMISOM and SRCC, Ambassador Francisco Madeira said AMISOM has made tremendous progress in reducing the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups and to enable the Federal Government to extend control and governance over liberated areas.
“Despite the challenges, AMISOM continues to make progress in Somalia. We are here to ensure peace, security, and progress, and we remain committed to this cause. Beyond the security mandate we also support in nation-building processes and we help with the capacity building of various state institutions, including the Somali security forces, for them to take over the country’s security responsibilities from us (AMISOM),” said Ambassador Madeira.
Ambassador Madeira also noted that as AMISOM reaches its end state with the mission’s mandate set to end on the 31 December 2021, there is need to discuss the post-AMISOM situation in Somalia, including discussions on proposals made by a number of stakeholders about the nature of a mission to take over from AMISOM.
“We all want a Somalia that is safe and empowered as a member state of the African Union. We need to sit down and talk,” added Ambassador Madeira.
Ms. Martha Pobee noted that there was need for the African Union and the Federal Government of Somalia to build consensus in light of emerging differences of opinion on issues around the future of AMISOM.
“We would like to see some progress on this. It is important that the African Union finds a harmonised position with the Federal Government of Somalia. We all want Somalia to be a viable nation that is able to handle its own security; and the African Union and United Nations can help to achieve this,” said ASG Pobee.
Ms. Pobee also highlighted the healthy collaboration between the UN Agencies in Somalia and AMISOM and thanked AMISOM for its sacrifice and contribution to Somalia.
“I thank you for the work you do to secure Somalia and making it possible for Agencies such as the UN and others to operate here. I have heard so many good things about the partnership and collaboration between the UN and AMISOM,” she said.
The UN delegation at the meeting included the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, Anita Kiki Gbeho, and the Director of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), Amadu Kamara.