AU calls for cautious implementation of transition plan in Somalia
The African Union top envoy for Somalia has called for a cautious implementation of the recently endorsed transition plan to help protect gains made in stabilizing the country.
Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, also voiced support for the transition plan which represents a significant change in the planning and delivery of security in the Horn of Africa nation.
“All our commanders have said yes to the transition. All of them without exception; the sector commanders who bear the brunt of this war despite all the challenges said yes to the transition,” he said in a statement released on Thursday evening.
The AU envoy who was presiding at a medal awards ceremony for 21 staff officers, who will be rotating out of the Mission after completing their tour of duty, noted that the transition is a necessity, driven by a number of factors but should be implemented cautiously, so as not to erode the gains made in Somalia over the last decade.
“We need to transition because the Somalis want us to transition, because the partners feel that we should transition and we are going to transition, but, frankly, and in all honesty, we would not want to see the things that we won with so much sacrifice to go down the drain,” said Madeira.
Madeira noted that the transition plan must involve the people of Somalia.
“We need to straighten up this place but we cannot do it without the Somalis. We have to hand over to people who are prepared to receive it and hold it and keep it and even improve it further, and that is the challenge,” said Madeira.
AMISOM has developed conditions-based transition plan, to transfer the national security responsibility from the AU troops to the Somali security forces guided by the rule of law and respect for human rights.
In 2017, the UN Security Council authorized a gradual troop reduction amid transition of security responsibility to Somali National Security Forces.