Briefing on the situation in Somalia and Operations of ATMIS

Briefing on the situation in Somalia and Operations of ATMIS

Date | 07 March 2023

Tomorrow (07 March), the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) is expected to convene its 1143rd session to assess key developments in the situation in Somalia and operations of the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

Following opening remarks by Innocent Eugene Shiyo, Permanent Representative of Tanzania and Chairperson of the PSC for the month of March, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), Bankole Adeoye, is expected to make a statement. Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and Head of ATMIS, Mohammed El-Amine Souef may also brief the PSC. The representatives of the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) are also expected to deliver statements.

The last time the PSC considered the situation in Somalia and operations of ATMIS was at its 1121st meeting held on 11 November 2022, when it approved the Somali government’s request to extend Phase I of ATMIS operational timelines for six months. Tomorrow’s meeting will afford the PSC the opportunity to deliberate on the security situation in Somalia, including the ongoing offensive operations against Al-Shabaab. The meeting is also expected to assess the status of force generation and integration and efforts being made to meet the extended deadline of 30 June 2023 for ATMIS Phase I drawdown. It will also follow on the request it made for the AU Commission to submit a joint report, including a technical assessment of progress made and compliance with agreed benchmarks, in order to guide the PSC on the next steps in the transition including proposals on revisions of the CONOPs and force generation requirements.

The Somali National Army (SNA) together with allied local militia have succeeded in dislodging Al-Shabaab from some of its strongholds in Galmudug and Hirshabelle regions in central Somalia. New operations have also been launched against the group in South West State and Jubaland in southern Somalia. President Mahmoud hosted a regional leaders’ summit on 1 February in Mogadishu to mobilize support for the ongoing offensive operations against Al-Shabaab. This was attended by the presidents of Djibouti and Kenya and the prime minister of Ethiopia. The leaders agreed to develop joint operational strategy against Al-Shabaab. In addition to their soldiers serving under ATMIS, these three countries are expected to deploy troops in Somalia in a matter of few weeks to support the offensive operations, according to media reports.

While under intense pressure, Al-Shabaab still continues to carry out heinous attacks using improvised explosive devices and other asymmetrical tactics. The group continues to carry out such attacks repeatedly in Mogadishu, sometimes in areas of the city meant to be protected from access to the group. Last month, ten people were killed in Mogadishu in an attack perpetrated by Al-Shabaab targeting military officials and militia fighters involved in the ongoing offensive operations.  The possibility of Al-Shabaab acquiring commercial drones to enhance its capabilities seems to have also become a major concern.

In terms of the role of ATMIS in the current Somali led offensive against Al-Shabaab, at the recently held meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Somalia, SRCC Souef explained that ATMIS has been providing support to the offensive operations by SNA and allied militia including through close air support, casualty evacuation and medical evacuation, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, indirect fire support and combat service support such as ammunition, water, drugs and field accommodation.

At the PSC meeting on 7 March, SRCC Souef may explain the status of progress   in terms of the implementation of Phase I of ATMIS drawdown which hinges on the progress made by the Somali government in terms of force generation and integration. At the UNSC meeting, SRCC Souef said that Somali is on track to meet its target of training 15,000 new forces this year but called on the UN to enhance its support package to the Somali security forces (SSF) beyond the mandated 13,900 forces. He also underscored the need to undertake more detailed planning on a sector-by-sector approach to identify which areas that ATMIS should continue to hold and which areas the Somali government is ready to take over or accept the risk of some ATMIS troop drawdowns.

Only three months are left for the expiry of the extended deadline and, once again, there seems to be a need for consultation on the way forward not to allow a reversal of the gains made as a result of the recent offensive operations. This is expected to be raised at the UNSC meeting which is going to be held later this month to discuss the transition in Somalia with the participation of Representatives from Somalia, the AU, the EU, and ATMIS troop-contributing countries. Two reports to be presented by the end of April pursuant to resolution 2670 (2022) will also inform future UNSC discussion and action over the coming months. These include a sector-by-sector assessment of the security situation in Somalia and ATMIS performance to be presented by the AU as well as a progress report on the implementation of the Somali transition plan, including an updated force generation plan to be presented by the Somali government.

One possible way forward could be a further extension of the ATMIS timeline to facilitate more progress with the ongoing offensive operations, sustain the gains made recently and allow the Somali government to accelerate the force generation and integration process to pave the way for ATMIS drawdown. Like what happened in November last year, the request may have to come from the Somali government itself if there is a need for a further extension of the timeline. It is to be recalled that the PSC and UNSC in their joint communique of their 16th annual consultative meeting pointed out ‘the need to ensure ATMIS Force protection and to conduct the security transition in Somalia in a manner that does not lead to a security vacuum to be exploited by Al-Shabaab.’ However, such adjustments also require sustaining international support   and finding a way of addressing the funding shortfall that ATMIS is facing. When the timeline for its Phase I drawdown was extended by six months, the expectation was that bilateral and international partners will continue supporting the mission financially. A very positive development in this respect is the announcement by the EU of additional funding on 2 March last week. According to the statement from the EU, the EU Political and Security Committee approved additional Euro 85 million in support of both SSF and ATMIS. While this may not cover the funding shortfalls facing ATMIS, it would help in narrowing down the current funding gap.

The AU during the summit last month also reiterated its longstanding appeal to the UNSC to provide support to ATMIS and other AU peace support operations from UN assessed contributions. This is likely to be raised later this month when the UNSC meets to discuss the transition in Somalia. The issue of financing of ATMIS from UN assessed contributions cannot be separated from the broader discussions on the financing of AU peace support operations. This broader discussion will take place in the UNSC based on the upcoming report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to a 30 August 2022 Presidential statement and  will be submitted by the end of April. The report is expected to provide updates on progress made by the UN and the AU to fulfill the commitments set out in resolutions 2320 (2016) and 2378 (2017), including recommendations on how to move forward on the financing of AU peace support operations that reflect good practices and lessons learned with the view to secure predictable, sustainable and flexible resources. The AU consensus paper on predictable, adequate, and sustainable financing for AU peace and security activities which has been under discussion by the PSC has now been adopted by the 36th AU Summit. This could also contribute to the discussion over the coming months.

Tomorrow’s session can also serve as an opportunity for the PSC to follow up decisions from last year including from its 1075th session and the joint communique on the 16th consultative meeting of the PSC and the UNSC which invited ‘the UN Secretary General and the Chairperson of the AU Commission to consider jointly convening an international pledging conference for ATMIS operations, by March 2023.’

The expected outcome of the session is a Communiqué. The PSC may welcome the ongoing offensive  by the Somali government to degrade Al-Shabaab and commend ATMIS for its continued support. It may further welcome the joint operational strategy against Al-Shabaab planned by Somalia and its neighboring countries and encourage their continued efforts in this regard. The PSC may emphasize the need for consultations between the AU, UN, EU and the Somali government to determine timelines and exact areas for ATMIS drawdown ahead of the expiry of the fast approaching extended timeline for Phase I drawdown of ATMIS. It may also reiterate its earlier call for joint assessment and submission of report by the AU Commission. The PSC may welcome the announcement by the EU on the provision of additional funding to ATMIS and SSF. It may also echo the call made at the 36th AU Summit, for the UNSC to provide support to ATMIS and other AU peace support operations from UN assessed contributions.

Situation in Somalia and Operations of ATMIS

Situation in Somalia and Operations of ATMIS

Date | 11 November 2022

Tomorrow (11 November), the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) is expected to consider as an agenda item of its 1121st session, the request submitted by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to extend Phase 1 of the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) CONOPS and to delay the drawdown of 2000 troops from December 2022 to June 2023.

The session will have two segments. In the first, open segment, opening remarks will be delivered by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Namibia to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for the month, Emilia Ndinealo Mkusa, to be followed with statements by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), Bankole Adeoye and the Representative of the Federal Republic of Somalia, as the concerned country. In the closed segment of the session, Interim Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia and Acting Head of ATMIS, Fiona Lortan will present a briefing to the Council.

It is to be recalled that Council last discussed the situation in Somalia and operations of ATMIS at its 1112th session which took place on 10 October 2022. The session served to consider the report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on the situation in Somalia and implementation of ATMIS’s mandate. At the session, Council drew attention to the fast approaching deadline of the drawdown of 2000 ATMIS troops which according to PSC’s decision outlined in the Communiqué of its 1068th session, is expected to take place by 31 December 2022. Tomorrow’s session is being convened in the context of this approaching deadline and the request submitted by FGS to extend the timeline of Phase 1 of ATMIS CONOPS which envisages the reduction of 2000 uniformed personnel by the end of December 2022.

Despite the registration of notable success in degrading Al-Shabaab, the terrorist group not only continues to maintain presence in multiple parts of the country, but is also continuing to plan and orchestrate its devastating attacks. As recent as 29 October 2022, Al-Shabaab carried out two major bombings in Mogadishu. The death toll from these attacks has reached over 120 people and continues to increase as many of the hundreds of people injured from the bombings are under intensive care and in critical conditions. The intensity and resulting death toll from these bombings is said to make the attack the second deadliest attack in Somalia’s history after the 14 October 2017 attack which claimed the lives of 587 people and injured hundreds more. Days after the attacks in Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab fighters carried out another bombing targeting a Somali military base in central Galgaduud region. In addition to killing several soldiers, the fighters reportedly stole multiple weapons and military vehicles.

It emerges from these and other recent Al-Shabaab attacks that the terror group has the ability to carry out consecutive and at times, simultaneous attacks and is in possession of explosives that can cause heavy and wide-range damage to both human life and infrastructure. In the AU Commission Chairperson’s report submitted to the PSC’s 1112th session, it is also noted that not only is Al-Shabaab proving to be highly adoptive, it is also acquiring new capabilities in terms of both means and methods of carrying out attacks. It is noted for instance that the terrorist group has been able to acquire commercial drones, foreign fighters and snipers while also enhancing its ability to rapidly mobilise its forces and conduct swift intelligence-led targeted operations. These realities on the ground, along with the need to avoid any vacuum that may result from reduction of ATMIS at a time when the government affiliated forces are engaged in heavy fighting against the group, are likely among the factors informing FGS’s request to delay the envisaged drawdown of 2000 ATMIS uniformed personnel by the end of December 2022.

On its part, ATMIS has been able to carry out multiple successful operations against Al-Shabaab, jointly with the Somali Security Forces (SSF). As observed in the AU Commission Chairperson’s report, the mission has been engaged in key initiatives that have made significant military gains for SSF including the use of local community defence groups fighting alongside the national security forces, to liberate villages in the Hiraan region of Hirshabelle state and Galmudug. It has also been playing a significant role in providing operational support to the Somali Police Force in addition to its other multiple contributions. ATMIS however faces considerable challenges, mainly related to the absence of predictable funding and limitation of human resources – the last one being a major factor in overstretching existing ATMIS forces. This issue is also directly related to the slow progress obtained in Somalia’s force generation and integration, as an adequate generation of force under SSF would have lessened the existing burden on ATMIS. Speedy force generation and timely implementation of the Somali Transition Plan (STP) therefore remain key for the gradual handover of security responsibilities from ATMIS to SSF. It may hence interest Council to hear about the specific factors that continue to constrain the FGS in the implementation of the STP and the force generation and mobilisation process, in order to reflect on ways to address these challenges.

Phase 1 of ATMIS drawdown (reconfiguration) is also well underway but continues to experience delays due to the lagged process of force generation and mobilisation by the SSF. While ATMIS has already proposed prioritising reconfiguration of forces to reinforce Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and requested FGS to avail the agreed number of troops to take over the FOBs, FGS is clearly facing difficulties in availing the required forces. At its 1112th session, it is to be recalled that the PSC called on the international community and member States to provide support to the FGS in its force generation and integration efforts, in order to avoid delays being faced in the transition of security responsibilities from ATMIS to SSF. Council may wish to reiterate its call at tomorrow’s session.

On the political front, Somalia continues to register notable progress in terms of efforts aimed at strengthening both internal reconciliation (between FGS and Federal Member States (FMS) in particular) as well as external/foreign relations. Following his inauguration in June 2022, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been advancing the agenda of reconciliation and building an inclusive federal system in Somalia, in addition to being actively engaged in expanding diplomatic relations with multiple countries. In terms of priority areas, the FGS has adopted a four-year work plan, which has been endorsed by the FMS, envisaging activities within six major areas including security, justice, reconciliation, economic development, social development, and foreign relations. For the AU and other key partners of Somalia including UN and EU, it is critical to take note of these priorities and align their support along these lines.

Tomorrow’s session may also serve to reflect on the concerning humanitarian situation in Somalia. The current drought in Somalia is said to surpass the historic droughts of 2010/11 and 2016/17, both in its severity and duration. According to the UN, 7.8 million people in Somalia are affected by the drought as at end of October 2022. Among these are 1.1 million people who have been displaced due to the impacts of the drought. Of the affected people are also 1.8 million children who face acute malnutrition – accounting for over 50% of the total child population in the country – and 301,000 people facing phase-5/catastrophic level Acute Food Insecurity. In multiple of the drought affected areas, 10,440 cholera cases and 59 deaths were also recorded by the UN since January 2022. Added to these figures is the continuing displacement of people due to insecurity and intensifying conflicts between Al-Shabaab and government forces. In the month of September 2022 alone for instance, 101,000 people were newly displaced due to insecurity and conflict.

The expected outcome of the session is a Communiqué. Council may commend the government of Somalia for political milestones achieved particularly in advancing engagement with FMS and setting national priorities. It may commend ATMIS for its perseverance and its continued support to the SSF in degrading Al-Shabaab. It may also condemn in strongest terms the recent consecutive attacks carried out by the insurgent group in various parts of the country and pay condolence to the families of those who lost their lives in these attacks. Having deliberated on the request of FGS to extend Phase 1 of ATMIS CONOPS and to delay the drawdown of 2000 troops to June 2023, Council may underscore the importance of fortified efforts of partners and international community to support the government of Somalia in carrying out all necessary tasks for the gradual handover of security responsibilities from ATMIS to the SSF, particularly in the area of force generation and integration. In this regard, it may accept the request on extension. Considering the implications of the extension on resources and logistics as well as the overall exit plan, the PSC may request the AU Commission to hold consultations with all the stakeholders to achieve consensus on the adjustments to the exit plan and the mobilization of the resources for implementing the adjusted plan. Council may further emphasise the importance of securing predictable, sustainable and flexible financing in order to ensure the mission’s continued effective and impactful operation and to maintain the security gains ATMIS and Somali forces continue to register. The Council may also urge the need for concerted efforts in the force generation and integration of SSF to ensure timely progress in the transfer of security responsibilities from ATMIS. Noting the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country and particularly the grave impact of the current drought, Council may call on the international community to mobilise timely humanitarian assistance to avert further suffering.



Date | November 2022

Namibia chaired the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) in November. The Provisional Program of Work initially envisaged six sessions with eight substantive agenda items. One of these sessions – a briefing on the deployment of 3000 troops to Sahel – was postponed to December. Two sessions that were not initially envisaged were added to the monthly program. Accordingly, the PSC held seven sessions in total. Of the seven sessions, four had two substantive agenda items (the 1117th, 1120th, 1121st, and 1122nd). Six of these agenda items were committed to country/region specific situations while three addressed thematic issues and one was a preparatory meeting held to receive key messages on climate change and peace and security nexus ahead of the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (COP 27). The remaining agenda was a consultative meeting of the PSC and the United Nations (UN) Peace Building Commission (UNPBC).

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Date | October 2022

In October, the Kingdom of Morocco was the monthly rotating chairperson of the Africa Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). The provisional program of work initially envisaged five substantive sessions of which two agenda items were dedicated to country/region specific issues. Two more agenda items with country/region focus were added in the course of the month. Accordingly, situations in the Horn of Africa, Central Africa and the Sahel were considered during the month. Overall the PSC convened seven (7) sessions and one joint consultative meeting addressing a total of eight (8) agenda items plus the consultative meeting.

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Ministerial session on the situation in Somalia and operations of ATMIS

Ministerial session on the situation in Somalia and operations of ATMIS

Date | 27 July 2022

Tomorrow (27 July), African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) is expected to convene its 1094th session at ministerial level to consider the situation in Somalia and operations of the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

The session will start with the opening remarks of the PSC Chairperson for July, Djibouti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, followed by remarks of the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), Bankole Adeoye. PSC is then expected to receive a briefing by the Interim Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and Head of ATMIS, Ms. Fiona Lortan. As a country of concern, the representative of Somalia is also expected to make statements. In addition, the representatives of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), as well as United Kingdom (UK) may deliver statements.

The session is expected to take stock of recent developments in Somalia and the progress made in the implementation of the mandates of ATMIS as envisaged in PSC communique 1068 (2022) and UN Security Council Resolution 2628 (2022), which authorized the new mission. This will be the third time for the PSC to discuss ATMIS since the Mission’s launch on 1 April 2022. It is to be recalled that PSC decided the reconfiguration of AMISOM into ATMIS during its 1068th session held on 8 March 2022. Tomorrow’s session is also convened within the framework of the PSC’s request in the communiqué of its 1068th session for the Chairperson of the AU Commission (AUC) to submit quarterly reports on the implementation of ATMIS mandate, including the steps taken by the FGS and international partners in implementing the new Concept of Operations (CONOPs). The session also comes at the backdrop of Council’s field mission to Somalia that took place from 19 to 22 July. As such, the session will greatly benefit from the delegation’s assessment of the situation on the ground and the outcomes of its engagement with various stakeholders.

On the situation in Somalia, the conclusion of the protracted parliamentary and presidential elections is one of the political developments since PSC’s last session that will receive attention during tomorrow’s session. On 15 May, the electoral process culminated in the election as President of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who served as Somalia’s President between 2012 and 2017, defeating the incumbent, Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo’. On 16 May, AUC Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, welcomed the outcome of the election, noting the crucial role played by the Somalia Security Forces (SSF) and ATMIS to guarantee security for the election processes. In a statement issued by his Spokesperson on 16 May welcoming the conclusion of the election, UN Secretary-General (SG) António Guterres expressed his hope that ‘the new president would move swiftly to form an inclusive Cabinet, and that the new Government and federal member states will work closely together to advance critical national priorities and address the challenges Somalia faces.’

During his inaugural address on 9 June, President Mohamud outlined that national reconciliation, improving relations between the central Government and federal member states, addressing the security threat from Al-Shabaab, and attending the dire drought conditions are among his national priorities. Given the difficulties the AU mission faced in the relationship with the previous administration, for the PSC maintaining a healthy relationship with the host country authorities would be of interest, considering in particular the dependence of the execution of the mandate and timeline of ATMIS on the cooperation of the FGS. On 16 July, Interim Head of ATMIS, Lortan, along with ATMIS Force Commander, met with Somalia’s new Prime Minister, Hamza Abdi Barre for fostering close relationship. During PSC’s field visit on 19-22 July, Prime Minister Barre, expressed commitment for ‘closer collaboration and effective coordination with ATMIS and the AU PSC.’

In the light of President Mohamud’s priorities particularly that of national reconciliation, a key process of the constitution of the new government being followed with interest is the composition of the new cabinet, as hinted in Guterres’s statement mentioned above. On 25 June, the Parliament approved Hamza Abdi Barre as new Prime Minster. Although he had a 30 days period until 25 July to announce cabinet, Prime Minister Barre requested for extension and Parliament gave him 10 more days to form the government.

On the security front, Al Shabaab has continued wreaking havoc even after the reconfiguration of AMISOM into ATMIS. In his 13 May report on the situation in Somalia, covering the period between 1 February and 6 May, Guterres noted an increase in Al Shabaab attacks where 236 security incidents were recorded, most of which were attributed to the terrorist group. Apart from its infiltration in and attack on the ATMIS base camp in Mogadishu in late March, it orchestrated one of the deadliest attacks on AU Mission targeting the ATMIS base in Middle Shabele region that killed several forces of the Burundian contingent. Highlighting the terror group’s regional ambition and willingness to exploit real or perceived fragilities, on 21 July, the group crossed into the Somali region of Ethiopia and suffered loss after several days of fighting. On 21 July, during the interaction between PSC members and Prime Minister Barre as part of the field mission, the later expressed the determination of the government to ‘launch a forceful and comprehensive fight to counter Al-Shabaab, ISIS and other terrorist organizations through military and non-military means.’

On the implementation of ATMIS mandate, tomorrow’s session may focus on three issues. The first is how reconfiguration of ATMIS is unfolding as key component of Phase I of ATMIS mandate, critical to creating the offensive and agile posture of the mission. Efforts are underway to generate mobile forces to conduct targeted offensive against Al Shabaab and to increase engagement with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) to enhance their Counter-IED capabilities. As part of the reconfiguration, ATMIS has started rolling out various joint operations with the SSF against Al Shabaab and other armed groups. Yet despite the plan as part of Phase I of the CONOPs, to handover or collapse two to three FOBs per sector (total of 12 to 18 FOBs), only two FOBs (20% of the plan) have been collapsed so far. The FGS has as yet to formulate plan on how to proceed with the taking over or collapsing of FOBs. Of interest to the Council is also progress made in strengthening the command-and-control structure of the mission.

The other is the capacity of the SSF to gradually assume full responsibility based on the force generation benchmarks as envisaged in the ATMIS CONOPs. Accordingly, when ATMIS drawdowns 2000 troops at the end of phase I by December 2022, the FGS is expected to generate 3,850 security forces (more details in Amani Africa’s Monthly digest for March). As the Deputy SRSC observed in a recent interview with a newspaper, ‘despite over a decade of training, we still haven’t reached a point where we have sufficient Somali forces to be able to take control’. She further stated that the mission ‘can only succeed if the government is a viable partner. … This has been the missing link.’ Prime Minister Barre assured the PSC during its field visit that this will change, expressing the full commitment of the government of Somalia to developing the capacity of its security institutions to take over completely security responsibilities from ATMIS by December 2024.

The third key issue is about the financial and logistical support provided to ATMIS as well as the SSF. The PSC highlighted the necessity of predictable, adequate, and sustainable financing for ATMIS at its 1075th session that took place on 12 April. Although the funding shortfall of ATMIS has come down, the mission has a deficit of 70 million USD, which is one of the issues to be discussed in the session, including with partners, such as the UK, expected to propose.  In a recent ATMIS-UN Support Office to Somalia (UNSOS) meeting, ATMIS Force Commander Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya emphasized that ‘to maintain a military advantage over Al-Shabaab, … the mission requires efficient acquisition, supply, and delivery of critical material during combat operations.’ The PSC at its 1068th session requested the UN to realign UN Logistics Support with the new CONOPs. During the deliberation between ATMIS and UNSOS that took place earlier this month to align the logistical support the mission receives in line with the new CONOPs, the Head of UNSOS, Assistant Secretary General Lisa Filipetto, indicated that ‘plans are underway to decentralize logistics to the ATMIS sectors to facilitate quick response and provide better support for troop mobile operations.’ How this would be followed up and the pace of such follow up would be of interest to PSC members.

The other issue deserving PSC’s attention is the grim humanitarian situation in Somalia, marked by one of the worst droughts in the country in at least four decades. The four consecutive failed rainy seasons, food price spikes, and underfunded humanitarian response has left 7.1 million Somalis, close to 50 % of the population, facing crisis-level food insecurity or worse, according to a statement issued by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia on 7 June. Humanitarian agencies have already raised the alarm over the risk of famine. Despite the ‘dire and grim’ situation, the funding for this year’s Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia remains low at 15.7 % as of 20 May. The recent uptick of violence by Al Shabaab remains the other major impediment to address the situation.

The expected outcome of tomorrow’s session is a communique. The PSC may welcome the successful conclusion of the elections in Somalia and the peaceful transfer of power to newly elected President Mohamud. Also welcoming the priorities that the new President announced during his inauguration, the PSC may urge the government to focus on mobilizing its efforts in delivering on these priorities and avail AU’s full support in this respect. Council is expected to condemn Al Shabaab’s increased deadly attacks, including its recent attacks inside the Somali region of Ethiopia, and to underscore the need for a more robust collective effort at addressing the threat posed by the terror group. Considering the scale of the humanitarian crisis, created by the drought affecting Somalia, the PSC may call on the AU, working with IGAD, to initiate measures for supporting Somalia, while appealing to international partners to redouble the humanitarian assistance to avoid famine in the country. Regarding ATMIS, Council may welcome the commitment of FGS to closely work with ATMIS and UNSOS’s plan to align the logistical support that the mission receives in line with the CONOPs, and the unanimous adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2632 that extended the mandate of UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until 31 October. Echoing its 1075th session, Council may emphasize the imperative of predictable funding and logistical support attuned to force mobility for the success of ATMIS, and may call on the partners to help address the funding deficit including through UN assessed contributions. In relation to strengthening the capacity of Somalia security forces, Council may reiterate its call on the FGS to ‘meet its commitments towards achieving the benchmarks and timelines’ as outlined in the CONOPs by capacitating SSF and strengthening local security & law and order institutions.



Date | July 2022

In July, Djibouti chaired the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC). During the month, the PSC convened three sessions. All the sessions were dedicated to country/ region specific issues. Two sessions were held at ambassadorial level. There was one session at ministerial level. The outcome for all the three sessions were adopted as Communiqué. On average, it took about one week for the outcome documents of the sessions to be published.

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The growing threat of terrorism in Africa: A product of misdiagnosis and faulty policy response?


May 25, 2022

On 28 May 2022, the African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government, the supreme decision-making organ of the AU, will hold its 16th extraordinary session. The thematic focus of the extraordinary summit is on terrorism and unconstitutional changes of government. The summit is convened based on the AU Assembly February 2022 decision on the proposal of the Republic of Angola for the convening of ‘Extraordinary Summit on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa’.

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Briefing on financing for ATMIS


Date | 12 April 2022

Tomorrow (12 April) the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) is expected to convene its 1075th session to discuss the financing of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) which replaced AMISOM as of 1 April 2022.

Following the opening remark by Willy Nyamitwe, Permanent Representative of Burundi to the AU and the Chairperson of the PSC for the month of April, Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), is expected to provide update on the state of mobilization of funds for ATMIS. It is also anticipated that the representatives of the two partner organizations of the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) will also make intervention. Police and Troop Contributing Countries (P/TCCs) are also expected to participate in the meeting.

It is to be recalled that the AUPSC authorized this new mission at its 1068th meeting held on 8 March 2022 with a mandate to degrade Al-Shabaab; provide security to population centres and open the main supply routes;  develop the capacity of the Somali Security Forces to enable them to take over security responsibilities by the end of the transition period in December 2024; support peace and reconciliation efforts of the Somali Federal Government; and help develop the capacity of the security, justice and local authority institutions of the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States. Subsequently, the UN Security Council also unanimously adopted resolution 2628 on 31 March 2022 endorsing the decision to reconfigure AMISOM into a new transition mission.

Despite the fact that ATMIS took over from AMISOM and its mandate commenced on 1 April 2022, its funding requirements remain unsettled. What further complicates the matter is that the troops are said to have not been paid for the month of March which underscores the urgency of addressing the financing issue. Troop Contributing Countries will likely raise this issue at the meeting.

The imperative of securing sustainable and predictable financing for the mission has been a perennial issue.  It was also raised during the discussion and negotiation on ATMIS both in Addis Ababa and New York as a critical issue for the success of the mission. In its 8 March Communique, the AUPSC ‘reaffirm[ed] the critical importance of sustainable and predictable financing, at adequate levels and for the full duration of the mission from 1 April, 2022 up to 31 December, 2024.’ Accordingly, the AUPSC ‘appeal[ed] to the UN, European Union and other partners to establish a financial support package, including through UN assessed contributions, taking into consideration the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.’

Resolution 2628 also ‘underline[d] the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing for African Union-led peace support operations authorised by the Security Council and under the Security Council’s authority consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter.’ This resolution of the UN Security Council ‘encourage[d] the Secretary-General, African Union and Member States to continue efforts to explore in earnest funding arrangements for ATMIS, bearing in mind the full range of options available to the United Nations, African Union, the European Union, and to other partners, and considering the limitations of voluntary funding, in order to establish secure future funding arrangements for ATMIS’.

The UN is expected to continue providing logistical support package to the new mission. UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) is mandated to provide logistics support to ATMIS uniformed and civilian personnel. This Support is provided through a combination of assessed budget and voluntary contributions from member states to the AMISOM Trust Fund. UK is said to have contributed recently some amount of money to the Trust Fund. UNSOS is also mandated to provide logistical support to the Somali Security Forces which is funded through voluntary contributions from member states to a Trust Fund managed by UNSOS. The Security Council has expressed its intentions to consider increasing the number of Somali security forces eligible for support through the UN Trust Fund and urged member states to continue contributing to the fund. But the use of UN assessed contributions to finance the mission, a longstanding request by the AU, is not being considered due to strong opposition by some permanent members of the Security Council. These members do not appear to be particularly keen to discuss the financing issue in a mission-specific context like ATMIS.

The EU has been a major financial partner of AMISOM and it is expected to continue financing ATMIS.  However, the EU has not yet made any commitment to finance the expense of ATMIS in full. The EU was part of the consultations on the reconfiguration of AMISOM to ATMIS as part of the Quartet format (Somalia, AU, EU and the UN). Consultations between the AU and EU has continued.  On 30 March 2022, a delegation from the EU held a meeting with the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye. The meeting centered on the EU Peace Facility, with affirmation of EU’s continued support to AU’s peace support efforts in the spirit of the Joint AU-UN vision adopted at the February 2022 AU-EU summit. While the EU put forward a proposed budget towards funding ATMIS, this does not meet the full funding requirements of ATMIS. It is not clear whether EU’s proposed funding amount short of the funding requirements of ATMIS is a result of current pressure facing the EU on account of the war on Ukraine and the resultant unexpected resource mobilization for meeting resource needs relating to the crisis arising from the war.

There are understandable concerns about how realistic the objectives set out for ATMIS are in the light of the current political and security dynamics in Somalia. Particularly, there is recognition that the success of the mission hinges on the full and effective implementation of the Somali Transition Plan and the ability of the government to mobilize the necessary forces. Past experiences in the implementation of the plan are far from reassuring in this regard. The relation between the federal government and the regions continues to be complicated as the government seeks to centralize power. The political situation in the country remains tense due to the infighting between the President and the Prime Minister and the ongoing electoral process with reports of potential violence in the context of the plan for certification of Members of Parliament. These conditions of heightened demand for the role of ATMIS in this delicate context make the need for filling in the funding gaps for ATMIS even more pressing.

At the time of going to publication, it remains uncertain if this session would have an outcome document. The PSC is expected to commend the TCCs and PCCs of ATMIS for continuing to deliver their responsibilities, despite remaining challenges. In terms of addressing the funding gaps, there are four options. The first is to go back to the EU and negotiate on additional funding to meet the shortfall. It is not clear if there is room for further negotiation with the EU on this and as such it is an option with limited chance of success. The second option is the possibility of filling the funding gaps from AU member states funds. Here as well current economic situation of member states and the funding of the AU is such that there may not be room for this option unless special dispensation for utilization of unused funds from other areas of the AU is going to be secured. The third option is to make a case to the UNSC to authorize the use of assessed contribution for filling in the funding gap of ATMIS. This speaks to the terms of Resolution 2628 which endorsed the PSC decision on the deployment of ATMIS. But it is difficult to see whether agreement would be reached on availing this option within reasonable time to address current funding shortfall of ATMIS. The fourth and last resort option is the convening of a funding summit for ATMIS for raising fund from AU member states and partners.



Date | April 2022

The term of the new 15 members of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) that were newly elected and re-elected in February 2022 commenced on 1 April, with Burundi assuming the chairing of the PSC for the month. In total, eight sessions were convened during the month. Out of these, three had country/region specific focus while four addressed thematic issues. The remaining one session was committed to the consideration and adoption of two key documents by the Council – the Report of PSC Induction Programme and the Accra Declaration. All sessions were held at the level of permanent representatives.

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March 2022

2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the inauguration of the African Union (AU). In reviewing the record of the AU in its two decades of existence, the aspect of AU’s role that is sure to attract the most scrutiny relates to the area of peace and security. While this special research report is not meant to provide such a comprehensive review, it seeks to provide an analysis of the major peace and security issues in Africa in 2022 as a useful lens for understanding where the AU’s peace and security order stands 20 years after AU’s launch. In presenting the analysis on the various major peace and security issues afflicting the continent, this report attests to both the importance of AU’s role and how its role has become more, not less, important today than at the time of its establishment, notwithstanding recent regressions in its performance.

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