An African Union (AU) team is in Somalia to assess peacekeeping activities as the transfer of responsibilities from the bloc’s mission to Somali national security forces gains momentum, officials said on Wednesday.
The African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), said the 10-man delegation from the AU Peace Support Operations Division arrived in Mogadishu on Tuesday for a four-day mission.
The delegation is scheduled to hold talks with senior government, UN and AU mission officials.
“The discussions will focus on a wide range of issues among them are peacekeeping activities, achievements made and challenges being experienced in securing Somalia.
“Also transfer of responsibilities to Somali national security forces among others,” said the AU mission.
Francisco Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia, who held talks with the delegation explained that they are in the country on a routine assessment mission.
“They have very specific objectives to see how we are working, what our challenges are; what are our relations with our hosts and how we plan for the transition,” Mr. Madeira said.
He noted that the delegation had frank discussions with the government of Somalia officials on issues focusing on peace and stability.
He noted that discussions also dwelt on the transition plan and the implementation challenges.
“We had the opportunity to speak frankly about the challenges we are facing; coordination activities; how to enhance interaction and unity, and particularly the political atmosphere and movement between us,” he added.
AMISOM has begun implementing a conditions based transition plan that will see it handing over the country’s security responsibilities to Somali national security forces.
The Peace Support Operations Division is mandated to plan, launch, sustain, monitor and liquidate all peace support operations authorised by the AU.