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COMMUNIQUÉ

Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 1217th meeting held on 20 June 2024 on the Report of the African Union Commission on the Joint Strategic Assessment for the Post-ATMIS Security Arrangement for an AU-Led Mission in Somalia.

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling all its previous decisions and pronouncements on the situation in Somalia and ATMIS, particularly Communique [PSC/PR/COMM.1205 (2024)], adopted at its 1205th meeting held on 3 April 2024; and communique [PSC/PR/COMM.1068 (2022)], adopted at its 1068th meeting held on 8 March 2022 on the reconfiguration of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) into AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS); and also recalling UN Security Council Resolutions 2628 (2022) which authorized the reconfiguration of AMISOM into ATMIS and Resolution 2710 (2023) which authorized the AU Member States to deploy up to 17626 uniformed personnel to ATMIS till 31 December 2023;

Reaffirming its strong commitment and support for preserving the unity, territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

Reiterating the AU's solidarity with the people and the Federal Government of Somalia in their aspirations for durable peace, security, stability, and prosperity, which will benefit the Horn of Africa region and the Continent as a whole;

Noting the opening remarks by H.E. Ambassador Rebecca Amuge Otengo, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Uganda to the AU and Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council for June 2024, and the presentation by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye; and the statement by H.E. Ambassador Abdullahi Warfa, the Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Somalia to the AU; and H.E. Ambassador Mohamud Ahmed, the IGAD Head of Mission to Somalia;


Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,

1. Welcomes the Report of the African Union Commission on the Joint Strategic Assessment for the Post-ATMIS Security Arrangement for an AU-Led Mission in Somalia;

2. Welcomes the progress made in Somalia since the deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2007 and its reconfiguration to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) in April 2022; congratulates the Federal Government of Somalia for its election as a Member of the UN Security Council for a two-year term starting in 2025;

3. Pays tribute to ATMIS Troop and Police Contributing Countries (T/PCCs) and ATMIS personnel for their continued commitment and sacrifices in fighting against the Al Shabaab and creating peace, security, and stability in Somalia; and expresses condolences to the families of all deceased ATMIS T/PCCs and personnel who lost their loved ones and wishes speedy recovery to all those nursing injuries from attacks from the Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups in Somalia;

4. Commends H.E. President Dr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and his government for their sustained and continued efforts and support towards the ATMIS and the AU Commission;

5. Appreciates the concerted efforts by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to address pertinent national issues, including through the development of its Security Sector Development Plan (SSDP), engagements through the National Consultative Council (NCC), and every effort in the fight against terrorism; and the FGS’ plan for post-ATMIS security arrangements; and in this regard, encourages partners to continue to support the implementation of the Somalia Security Sector Development Plan;

6. Condemns the heinous terrorist acts committed by the Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups operating in Somalia, as well as in neighbouring states, and expresses grave concern over the continued threat to peace and security in Somalia and the Horn of Africa region posed by the increased capability of the Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups;

7. Commends the progress made by the Somali security forces in addressing the capacity gaps during Phase 1 and Phase 2 drawdown of ATMIS forces, which have ensured the overall maintenance of security in Somalia; and in this regard, calls for enhanced capacity of the national security sector, including systematic but rapid generation of forces, as SNA continues to assume security responsibilities;

8. Expresses concern, nevertheless, that, in light of the ongoing offensive operations against the Al Shabaab terrorist organization, the full implementation of Phase 3 drawdown could lead to capability gaps that may have significant implications for the security of Somalia and the wider region;

9. Expresses concern that the on-going offensive operations, coupled with simultaneous drawdown, could leave a gap for Al Shabaab to re-organize, and conduct asymmetric attacks; and in this regard, reiterates the importance of force generation, regeneration, integration and capacity building both for the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States as a major component in taking over security responsibilities;

10. Strongly supports, in this regard, the request by the FGS of 16 May 2024 and 17 May 2024 submitted to the PSC requesting a phased approach to the Phase 3 Drawdown of ATMIS, with the 4000 personnel divided into two tranches, namely 2000 by the end of June 2024 and 2000 by the end of September 2024;

11. Further notes that the exit of ATMIS needs to be carefully harmonised with the follow-on mission that replaces it, including the harmonisation of TCCs, to ensure that there is no security gap between 31 December 2024 and 1 January 2025; and in this regard, requests the AU Commission to undertake consultations, in collaboration with the TCCS, FGS, and UN and report back to Council by the end of July 2024, on how to ensure a smooth transition to the new AU-led mission without leaving a vacuum;

12. Notes the financial implication that could impede the operationalization of the FGS request to divide the Phase 3 drawdown into two tranches and, in this regard, reiterates its communique [PSC/PR/COMM.1177(2023)] of 30 September 2023 in particular paragraph 5, with the exemption of paragraph 5(iv and vi), and requests the AU Commission, with the support of the United Nations, the European Union, and other partners, to consider options for mobilizing resources for the requested approach to the Stage 3 Drawdown of ATMIS;

13. Endorses the establishment of a new African Union-led Mission for Somalia in support of the FGS for post-ATMIS security arrangements that should be UN-authorized and emphasizes that the new AU-led Mission should:

i. focus on supporting FGS to further degrade Al Shabaab and provide security and prioritize the protection of civilians in Somalia;
ii. assist the stabilization and security of Somalia, enabling state-building priorities and ensuring a coherent and orderly transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali authorities and increasingly capable security force;
iii. establish clear lines of communication, joint planning processes, centralized command, control and coordination structure and regular information-sharing mechanisms as recommended in the Joint Technical Assessment;
iv. engage in counter terrorism operations;
v. prioritise support to the security and political stabilisation of Somalia; and
vi. be built on the principles of accountability, transparency, performance benchmarks, and effective command, control, and coordination;

14. Decides that the post-ATMIS Mission must be given a strong political mandate, with scope, size, posture, composition, and duration aligning with existing security threats and SSF readiness and capacity to assume full security responsibilities;

15. Also decides that the mandate of the post-ATMIS mission should respond to Somalia’s political and security realities and provide realistic timelines tailored to Somalia’s requirements and ATMIS aspiration for a smooth, orderly, successful, and clearly benchmarked incremental transition of security responsibility to the Somali security forces;

16. In this regard, requests the AU Commission, in consultations with ATMIS, the FGS and all relevant stakeholders, to submit, by the end of July 2024, a Concept of Operations (CONOPs) that proposes a mandate and configuration for the new mission, and clear benchmarks and timelines for the transition from ATMIS to the new mission as well as the duration of the new Mission;

17. Strongly emphasizes that the deployment of the post-ATMIS AU-led mission in Somalia requires predictable, sustainable, and adequate funding; and in this regard, requests that a dedicated funding mechanism, through UN-assessed contributions in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2719 (2023), along with additional complementary financing sources, be established to guarantee financial stability for the mission;
18. Requests the AU Commission, in consultation with the UN Secretariat, to develop financing options for the new Mission, including through UN Security Council Resolution 2719 (2023);

19. Requests the United Nations Security Council to continue to provide logistical support package to the ATMIS uniformed personnel and civilians, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM);

20. Reiterates the need for Member States and partners to continue providing support for the stabilization and security of Somalia, enabling state-building priorities and ensuring a coherent and orderly transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali authorities and increasingly capable security force;

21. Emphasizes the importance of peace-building and the post-conflict reconstruction and development component to Somalia and in the mandate of the new post-ATMIS mission; and directs that the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) Center develops programs to support the post-ATMIS mission and building Somali national capacities;

22. Acknowledges the enhanced cooperation of the FGS and the unwavering support of the UN and partners, in particular the European Union, since the deployment of AMISOM in 2007;

23. Requests the AU Commission to urgently transmit this communique to the United Nations Security Council for authorization of the phased approach to the Phase 3 Drawdown of ATMIS and AU’s view on the new AU-led Mission in Somalia and also to the European Union for information and support;

24. Directs the AU Commission to keep the PSC regularly informed on the implementation of this Communique; and

25. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Situation Room ICU

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