AU, civil societies renew efforts to stabilize Somalia

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The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the civil society have resolved to work together to enable the peacekeeping mission to achieve its key objectives under the renewed mandate.

Senior officials of the civilian, military and police components of AMISOM and the civil society representatives in Mogadishu, who held a day-long meeting in Mogadishu on Wednesday, called for closer ties for the benefit of Somalis who yearn for lasting peace and security.

Kareem Adebayo, AMISOM’s head of protection, human rights and gender unit, said the AU mission will maintain close working relations with Somali civil society by organizing monthly technical meetings as well as quarterly strategic consultations, which will involve senior officials of the Mission.

“We will use meetings like these ones to identify specific thematic issues that arise from activities in Somalia and see how we can use the civil society organizations to bridge gaps that arise,” Adebayo said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening.

“The civil society are the representatives of the people, the eyes and ears of the Somali people; therefore, there is need to have a structured formal engagement with the civil society,” he added.

Under the new mandate, AMISOM is required to draw down its troops by 1,000 by February 2020, conduct gradual handover to Somali security forces, secure main supply routes, reduce the threat posed by al-Shabab and conduct targeted offensive operations that support the transition plan, among other deliverables.

Opiyo Ododa, AMISOM’s senior civil affairs officer in charge of stabilization and early recovery program said strong relations with the civil society will enable the Mission’s programs, aimed at uplifting lives, reach the larger Somali population.

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