Source: United Nations 4 – Press Release/Statement:
Headline: Security Council Extends Mandate of African Union Mission in Somalia, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2297 (2016)
The Security Council extended its authorization of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) until 31 May 2017 today, agreeing with the Secretary-General that conditions in that country were not appropriate for the deployment of a United Nations peacekeepingmission.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2297 (2016) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council set the following strategic objectives for AMISOM: reducing the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups; providing security to facilitate the political process at all levels; and enabling the gradual handover of security responsibilities to Somalia’s security forces.
Among the Mission’s essential tasks, the Council mandated AMISOM to engage with communities in recovered areas and to promote understanding between itself and local populations in order to allow longer-term stabilization by the United Nations country team. The Mission’s priority tasks would include the continued conduct of offensive operations against Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups.
By further terms, the Council agreed with the Secretary-General that progress in degrading Al-Shabaab’s capacity to launch attacks, as well as improving the capacity of Somali forces to sustain control of recaptured areas, could enable a gradual reduction of AMISOM’s role in the country. It also agreed that a joint AMISOM-United Nations-Somali planning mechanism should assess and facilitate delivery of the Mission’s mandate. Meeting benchmarks set out in the Secretary-General’s letter of 2 July 2015 could pave the way for deployment of aUnited Nations peacekeeping operation, the Council noted, requesting that he keep those benchmarks under review.
The Council also called for rapid implementation of the national security policy and federal policing model, as well as agreement on a federal security sector architecture that would define the roles of relevant institutions. It called on the federal Government to implement commitments to security sector reform, including on increasing the transparency and accountability of financial management, and to deliver early implementation of the endorsed national security policy. The Council also expressed concern about increasing forced evictions of internally displaced persons in major towns, calling on the federal Government to strive to provide lasting solutions in that regard.
Also by the text, the Council requested that the Secretary-General submit no fewer than three written reports, the first by 12 September, and the others every 120 days thereafter.
Speaking after the adoption, Egypt’s representative said he had voted in favour of the resolution out of a belief in AMISOM’s important role in support of peace and reconciliation. Positive political developments would not have been achieved without the Mission’s support in providing a conducive environment for the political efforts under way, which had allowed the Council to send a message about the importance of concluding the election process swiftly. Commending the President of Somalia for having adopted the national electoral model and logistical arrangements for its implementation, he called on all stakeholders to support his efforts, notably in building the capacities of national institutions. Egypt also supported the Secretary-General’s cooperation with the African Union in implementing a joint assessment of AMISOM, he said.
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