Efforts to advance Somalia’s progress on the security front were the key topic at a high-level meeting of Somali authorities and international partners in the country’s capital today (26 Apr) with all involved highlighting the need for continued momentum on the implementation of the so-called Comprehensive Approach to Security (CAS).
The CAS executive group meeting was attended by representatives of the Federal Government of Somalia, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and international partners, and chaired by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire.
At the meeting’s opening, the Prime Minister told participants that much had been achieved since last December’s Somalia Security Conference in developing a transition plan that will eventually give primary responsibility for the country’s security to Somalia’s own security forces.
“The transition plan focuses on a number of key elements. First it stresses local delivery as a key component for success. Second, the plan outlines the necessary supporting activities in recognizing that there is no purely military solution to our problems,” said Mr. Khaire. “And, finally, the plan places great emphasis on institutional capacity building.”
The Prime Minister also reaffirmed Somalia’s commitment to undertake reforms needed to move the country forward.
“The reforms that we are undertaking are not just to meet benchmarks on our pathway to debt relief,” he said. “They are a necessary path we need to take to rebuild our nation and attain our vision of a stable and prosperous Somalia.”
Representing UNSOM at the gathering, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating, said that the success of the transition plan depended on its endorsement by three constituencies – the Somalis, AMISOM and international partners.
“The most important of those three constituencies is the Somali one,” Mr. Keating added.
The UN envoy also flagged that the transition plan is on the UN Security Council’s agenda, and he urged international partners to back the plan.
The African Union’s Special Representative for Somalia, Francisco Madeira, echoed Mr. Keating’s appeal to the international community to provide funding to the transition plan and prepare the Somali National Army (SNA) and other national security forces to replace AMISOM as the primary guarantors of the country’s security.
“We need to know when the money that is going to buy the enablers, the multipliers, the barracks, the cars for the SNA is coming,” said Mr. Madeira.
At the end of today’s meeting, participants formally adopted a transition plan for security responsibilities ahead of a high-level conference on Somalia’s security that is scheduled to take place in Brussels next week.