Troop and Police Contributing Countries (T/PCCs) to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 3 July 2017, and discussed the preliminary outcomes of the recently conducted African Union- United Nations Joint Review on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the situation in Somalia.
The meeting was attended by the following T/PCCs, namely, the Vice President of the Republic of Burundi H.E Gaston Sindimwo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Republic of Djibouti, H.E Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, H.E Amina Mohamed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the the Republic of Uganda, H.E Sam Kutesa and the AU Commission represented by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui.
The meeting reaffirmed the central role of AMISOM in the restoration and expansion of the State authority in Somalia since its deployment in 2007.
The meeting also commended AMISOM for providing an enabling environment for two political transitions through elections and consensus.
Despite the unprecedented gains recorded by AMISOM, the meeting, once again, regretted the under-resourcing of the Mission. The meeting stressed that the situation has continued to affect the morale of the forces and operational effectiveness of the AMISOM, increasing the probability for an untimely withdrawal of the Mission from Somalia.
The meeting took note of the findings of the recently conducted Joint African Union-United Nations Joint Review on AMISOM, including its recommendation for a condition and time-based draw-down.
In particular, the meeting took note of the first phase of the drawdown process involving the reduction of 1,000 military personnel, which will be replaced by 500 police personnel by December 2017.
It also took note of the second phase of the draw-down process, which will consist of an additional reduction of 1,000 military personnel by October 2018.
In undertaking this reduction, the meeting stressed the need for a realistic, viable and responsible draw-down, in full cooperation with the Federal Government Somalia in order to ensure that the gains achieved in the last decade are not reversed.
The meeting further stressed the need to develop a Joint AU/TCCs Exit strategy, which takes into consideration the security condition in Somalia, and the capacity of the Somalia security institutions to take over primary security responsibility from AMISOM.
In this respect, the meeting requested the Commission to establish a Committee of Experts to develop this exit strategy, with a view to report back to T/PCCs by September 2017.
The meeting reiterated that the continued presence of AMISOM will be based on predictable and sustainable funding for the Mission.
It requested the Commission to continue its resource mobilization efforts for AMISOM and increase engagements with the United Nations and other partners on the prospects of the utilization of United Nations assessed contributions for the Mission.
The meeting renewed the call for better coordination of support to Somalia, and stressed the need for the full operationalisation of the Somalia-African Union Taskforce, to enhance coherence and coordination in the support provided to Somalia.
Last but not least, the meeting paid tribute to AMISOM uniformed and civilian personnel as well as all T/PCCs for their sacrifices and commitment made in Somalia in the last decade, and stressed the need to continue to maintain collective action, solidarity and unity in support of peace, security and stability in Somalia.