| Page-3 -We, in AMISOM,are greatly encouraged by the dynamism and commitment to duty being demonstrated by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, particularly as he invests time and effort to put the agreed electoral mechanisms in place and acceleratesthe constitutional review process.The African Union welcomes these positive developments and stands ready to offer its support to the new Prime Minister to advance Somalia’s immediate priorities, particularly conducting free, fair inclusive and secure elections.Madam President,The need to conclude the constitutional debate aimed at crafting a shared national vision ofthe direction the country should take, the work the government is undertaking towards national reconciliation, the effort at resolving the issues related to land, power sharing and resources sharing, extreme poverty, clan dynamics, governance and institutional weaknesses, radicalization, insurgency, violent extremism and terrorism, demand repeated formal and informal encounters anddiscussions among political stakeholderslike the ones that took place in Dhusammareb and Mogadishu last August and September in order to elicit synergies required to build the much needed trust and confidence among the leadership and create an environment where consensus can emerge and approaches can be agreed on how to adequately tackle the problems facing Somalia today,and find them sustainable and lasting solutions. That’s why we welcomed, in a very particular way, the crucially important political meetings of Dhusamamareb and Mogadishu, which we earnestly supported and encouraged. It’s, therefore, importantand necessary that the Samarreb spirit continues to be harnessed and made to prevail during the implementation of the electoral processesand ensure that the current challengesover the constitutionand appointment modalities for the electoral commissions and othersdo not stand on the way of,or hinder the already agreed timely indirect parliamentary and presidential elections.
| Page-4 -As part of my engagements on elections, I have continued to advocate for the African Union’s desire to see a full participation of Somali women in the upcoming elections, maintaining the 30% quota. Achieving the quota is an issue of great importance to the African Union. More so, as this month we have been globally commemorating the 20thanniversary of Security Council resolution 1325, and in Somalia where AMISOM has celebrated the strength, courage and perseverance of Somali women in their contribution to peacebuilding for thepast many years. To this end, I call once again on Somali leaders to give strength and meaning to full women involvement and participation in the forthcoming elections.Madam PresidentSecurity Council resolutions 2472 (2019) and 2520 (2020) give the African Union a critical role in supporting the Federal Government to prepare and conduct peaceful elections. While this is mainly in the area of election security, the forthcoming elections have been one of AMISOM’s top priorities, and, building on the experience the mission accumulated in 2016,I can now report that our preparations are at an advancedstage, as we await the final announcement of the dates for the parliamentary and presidential elections. I can equally report that in terms of what AMISOM has accomplished since my last briefing, our preparations and support cuts across our multi-dimensional nature as a mission. With regards to our uniformedpersonnel, this has seen increased support to the Somali Police Force (SPF) with the provision of election training,security materials,on budgets and training schedules. Recently, AMISOM, together with the United Nations,supported theFGSrevision ofthe election security concept of operations, which has since been adopted by the Somali authorities. This is part of the effort to ensure that security plans are adjusted and compatible with the adoptedelectoral model of “Electoral Constituency Caucuses.”Looking ahead, AMISOM’s police will soon begin training and mentoring their Somali counterparts on the operationalisation of the Regional Joint Operations
| Page-5 -Centres across the federal member states that will plan, coordinate, deliver and manage security operations throughout the period of the electoral process. This will also include a dedicated AMISOM female officer to support the Somali Police Force manning of an election women’s desk.This week, our uniformed personnel are set to begin a gender-based election violence training course for both the Somali Police Force and members of civil society.Also complementing our uniformed personnel, AMISOM’s civilian component this month have focused on drafting and contributing to the planning of an ‘Election Security Communication Strategy’ for public information security. Beyond this important support role, our civilian staff have held a series of thematic election workshops, including exploring proposals and initiatives to promote Somali women’s participation in the upcoming elections.Madam President Al-Shabaab remainsthe principal threat to peace and security, with the group placing a greater emphasis on destabilising Mogadishu, mainly through attacksonhigh profile targets.Beyond Mogadishu, in AMISOM areasof operation, we have observed the emergence of a clear threat picture. Our threat picture strongly indicates that Al-Shabaab’s primary focus since August has been to enhance its capability through training and,at times,by enlisting foreign expertise, as part of the group’s knowledge transfer from foreign extremist affiliate groups.Such training and knowledge transfer have enabled Al-Shabaab’s probing attacks, bolstered by its ability to mobilise quickly.We also have, with grave concern, during November, seen the group turn particularfocus ontargeting aircraftson takeoff and landingin forward operating bases.Luckily, all attempts so far undertaken have missed theirtarget. We need to pay focused attention to this trend
| Page-6 -LastSeptember, to expand transition activities to Galmudug, AMISOM, and Somali security forces deployedin Dhusamareeb launched a targeted operation in the area of Bulacle. This not only resulted in the disruption of Al-Shabaab activities there,but also the seizure of several weapons.More recently in October, AMISOM jointly with SNAin HirShabelle,successfully conducted a targeted operation in Ceel Baraf, leading to the capture of Al-Shabaab operatives and weapons.As AMISOM’s partnered military operations have continued, AMISOM’s civilian stabilisation activities have progressed too. With the space created, AMISOM has not only provided COVID-19 PPE to various communities in proximity to recovered territory,but this fact allowed AMISOM civilians to deliver training andessential services. The services include the delivery of clean water to the population through the diggingof shallow wells. While in Jubaland, the mission has responded with the provision of maternal care facilities and constructed a childbirth delivery facility.Madam President Regarding the Somalia Transition Plan review, the AfricanUnion is pleased that the current draft has progressed from its initial text in September. AMISOM has also been fully engaged throughout the process in all three key workgroups of operations, capacity and institution building, and supporting activities,including stabilisation.The Amisom Sector commanders conference which took place during the course of the revision of the Transition plan, was able to benefit from the FGS identification and definition of its priorities in the operational pilar for the remaining period of the transition. The AU Operations Coordination Committee which recently met at the Foreign Affairs ministers level, is eagerly looking forward to a consolidated, realistic and implementable text of the revised Planwhich captures allthe requisite operational as well as capacity building and supporting tasks.
| Page-7 -Besides reaffirming the letter and content of AU Peace and Security Council Communique 949, the Ministers concluded that the African Union should begin to facilitate a process for the conduct of an independent assessment, commencing with the appointment of an independent African high-level expert and a technical team to support the process that will focus on Somali security requirements, broader stabilisation needs as well asefforts to extend and consolidate state authority throughout the country commencing with the already liberated areas.I thank you.