High-level security conference calls for accelerated security sector reforms in Somalia

News and Press Release
Originally published


Mogadishu, 4 December 2017 - A high-level security conference on Somalia today called for the “urgent development of a realistic, conditions-based transition plan” to transfer primary national security responsibility from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to the country’s own security forces.

“This plan must be guided by the rule of law, respect for human rights and should include countering violent extremism, stabilization and governance,” stated a communiqué that was issued at the end of the conference and delivered by the Federal Minister of Information, Abdirahman Omar Osman.

Participants in the first high-level conference on security to be held in the capital Mogadishu included the presidents of Somalia’s five federal member states, Prime Minister Ali Hassan Khaire, key members of the federal government cabinet and senior representatives of the international community.

According to the communiqué, the conference also agreed that a process for developing such a transition plan should be concluded by the end of this month “with a view to completing a draft transition plan” before a joint review of AMISOM requested by the UN Security Council is conducted next year.

The transition should provide “affordable, accountable and acceptable forces” that are capable of providing security across Somalia.

While underlining the progress the country has made towards implementing key security reforms, Somalia’s Federal President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo” made a commitment in his keynote address to tackle critical security gaps before transferring full responsibility from AMISOM to Somali security forces.

“The Operational Readiness Assessment is completed and we have learned the strengths, gaps and lessons for the Police and National Army. We will use this as a springboard to identify and implement necessary reforms,” President Farmaajo said.

Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, said the UN stood ready to work with the country and international partners to address the various security challenges facing Somalia.

“Somalis deserve coherent support by the international community. The comprehensive approach to security does provide a mechanism to bring everybody together to work with you and your colleagues to move down this pathway, including the area of financing,” he remarked.

Mr. Keating also noted that the meeting had provided an opportunity to review the achievements of the Farmaajo government and agree on a future list of priorities.

“A conditions-based transition plan is now really essential. The Troop Contributing Countries need it and AMISOM needs it, both because they need a partner to hold territory and to work within their operational activities. But also because they cannot stay in Somalia forever, and they need a horizon,” he stated.

The security conference was convened to review progress on security sector reform and the implementation of the National Security Architecture, which was endorsed by Somalia’s federal and state-level leaders last April. Participants also called for continued international support to build the capacity of Somali security forces and institutions.