Somalia Partnership Forum concludes with a new plan of action for the country

The Somalia Partnership Forum ended in Mogadishu on Wednesday with an agreement by the Federal Government of Somalia and its partners to work together to address the challenges that still daunt Somalia, including the need to generate jobs and economic growth, continue with the fight against Al Shabaab, respond to humanitarian crises and build resilience, lay foundations for inclusive politics, strengthen respect for the rights, and participation and representation of women and minorities.

Additionally, Somalia and its international partners have agreed on a Mutual Accountability Framework to narrow their joint focus to priority areas for action and resources in order to achieve key priority outcomes before December 2020.

“Looking ahead, we have endorsed the 2019/2020 Mutual Accountability Framework, in which we have agreed the next 15 months will be crucial as Somalia Security Forces are expected to take over full security responsibilities by 2021. We are however still confronted with the reality that time and resources continue to be a key challenge”, said Ambassador Francisco Madeira, the Head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), when he addressed the forum on its second day, during a panel discussion on security and justice reform.

Ambassador Madeira called for inclusivity, openness, justice, fairness and transparency in order to consolidate the gains made in Somalia and act as a guide to a new comprehensive approach to security, including the constitutional review process, draft electoral law, political parties law and the holding of a one-person-one-vote election in 2020/2021.

He added: “The efforts towards lasting peace and security would only succeed if it takes into account all the other factors that directly and indirectly contribute to the current state of volatility, tension, violence and instability”.

In the communique issued at the end of the conference, the Federal Government of Somalia has committed to adopt an Electoral Law by December 2019, complete the Constitutional Review by June 2020, adopt an amended Federal Constitution, establish a Constitutional Court and Judicial Service Commission, continue with the national reconciliation process, and ensure the participation of all sectors of society, including women, in political decision making.

The Prime Minister of Somalia, Hassan Ali Khayre, said it was important to recognize that without AMISOM playing a crucial role in stabilizing Somalia, there would not have been talk of economic development for the country.

“We wouldn’t be discussing economic progress or security sector reform without the commitment and the sacrifices made by our brothers and sisters from AMISOM and its troop contributing countries. Because of their commitment, we are where we are today and we are very grateful for the support they have rendered to our nation,” Prime Minister Khayre said.

Taking his turn, the President of Hirshabelle, Mohammed Abdi Waare, paid glowing tribute to AMISOM. “I salute the brave men and women of our armed forces, our AMISOM brothers and sisters who make sacrifices daily. We thank them for the contributions they make to ensure the safety of our people,” he said.

These sentiments were echoed by the President of South West, who acknowledged the contributions of AMISOM in the military offensive against Al Shabaab and in gaining new grounds from the terrorists.

“We are grateful for the ongoing operations in Lower Shabelle jointly carried out by our government and AMISOM forces. More progress has been recorded leading to the liberation of Awdheegle, Saabid, Anole, Barire, Mareerey and other key areas. These areas now have an opportunity to experience good governance,” said President Abdulaziz Hassan Mohammed.

The contributions of AMISOM was further acknowledged by UN Special Envoy, James Swan, who told delegates that: “(the United Nations) honours AMISOM and its troop and police contributing countries for their courageous sacrifices to further peace and security in Somalia. Together, in this forum, we reaffirm our collective goals for inclusive politics, security and justice, economic reform and social development in Somalia”.

The two-day high-level conference attracted delegates from over 40 countries and discussed extensively issues of economic reform, security and justice reform, national development planning, inclusive politics, social development, inclusive partnerships and inclusive politics.