The Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) held its 25th Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 01 December 2017, hosted by the African Union (AU) Commission.
The Chiefs of Defense Staff (CDS) or designated representatives of AMSIOM Troop/Police Contributing Countries (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda) and Somalia, attended the meeting. Representatives from partner organizations and countries (United Nations, European Union, United Kingdom and United States of America) also participated in the meeting.
The meeting which was chaired by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, was conducted against the background of the preliminary conclusions of the Operational Readiness Assessment (ORA) process, the impact of UNSCR 2372 (2017), and the upcoming Somalia Security Conference scheduled for 04 December 2017.
The meeting was briefed by the AMISOM Special Representative for Somalia, the Force Commander and the Police Commissioner on the prevailing political and security situation in Somalia.
They highlighted that although it was significantly weakened, Al Shaabab continues to pose a major security threat. This was followed by discussion on critical issues relating to the current operational challenges, the preliminary outcomes of the ORA, the need for sufficient and sustainable resourcing for AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF).
The meeting also exchanged views on capacity building support to the SNSF to enable it to take over security responsibilities from AMISOM.
The MOCC agreed to refocus its offensive operations and to resolve issues relating to command and control and broader coordination. The meeting directed that the review of the AMISOM Concept of Operations (CONOPs) should commence immediately with an experts meeting including the AU Commission, AMISOM, T/PCCs, and the UN Support Office to Somalia (UNSOS) in view of the heightened security threat and logistical support challenges.
Noting the initial findings of the ORA, the MOCC emphasized that Somali takeover of primary security responsibility from AMISOM is dependent on enhancing SNSF capacity. The meeting further agreed to step up training support to the SNA and appreciated the commitment by the TCCs to support the SNA to build its combat capability.
Additionally, the MOCC noted that the Joint Somalia-AU Taskforce and the Joint Operations Centre are critical mechanisms that will allow for close coordination and planning between the FGS and the AU at various levels, as well as a vehicle for bringing coherence to partner support to the handover of security responsibilities.
The MOCC called on the Somalia Security Conference that will take place in Mogadishu on 4 December 2017 to secure support for the comprehensive list of requirements of the SNSF and AMISOM in preparation for the takeover of security responsibilities by the SNSF.
Furthermore, the MOCC reiterated that enhanced support to Somali institutions and structures, including local governance, is complementary to broader security efforts in Somalia.