The Joint Security Committee 13th Sessoin concludes today with a Communiqué
Mogadishu, 8 May 2012 – The thirteenth session of the Joint Security Committee (JSC) was held in Mogadishu from 7 to 8 May 2012. The Committee was co-chaired by His Excellency Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, Mr. Peter de Clercq, United Nations Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Somalia, and by Hon. Wafula Wamunyinyi, Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC).
The first day of this JSC meeting was hosted by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and was attended by representatives of Puntland, Galmudug, and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama'a (ASWJ). The participants reinforced the importance of dialogue and agreed to work together jointly on increasing security and peace in all areas of Somalia. They further recognized the tremendous achievements of the national security forces, working in partnership with allies and regional neighbours, in making significant territorial gains in Banadir and parts of Galgadud, Hiiraan, Bay, Bakool, Gedo and Lower Juba.
- Emphasised the need to build on the operational momentum, commending Government proposals to restore regional and local administrations in recovered areas;
- Further emphasised the critical importance of monitoring the change of tactics of Al-Shabaab following their shift of activities to the Golis Mountains in Puntland;
- Affirmed the unity of all Somali fighting forces, emphasising the importance of integrating them under a unified Somali command;
- Recognised the urgent need to support and stabilize recovered areas while building on and sustaining existing regional states and administrations;
- Emphasized the importance of strengthening the justice institutions in parallel with police, military and the Custodial Corps;
- Recognised the importance of developing mechanisms for better intelligence sharing, coordination, and communication between the security institutions and the regions;
- Highlighted the urgent need to develop appropriate procedures and supporting capability to deal with ex-combatants;
- Noted the importance of the National Security and Stabilization Plan (NSSP) as the guiding document for rebuilding the Somalia security and justice sector institutions (2011 to 2014). Participants reaffirmed the intention of securing a Presidential decree in order to implement the NSSP until parliamentary approval could be secured.
The Committee Secretariat produced a comprehensive summary of the proceedings and main recommendations which was issued to JSC delegates on Day Two.
The Meeting was followed by the official handover of vehicles and equipment funded by the Government of Japan and represented by His Excellency, the Ambassador of Japan. His Excellency the Minister of Interior and National Security received vehicles and equipment on behalf of the Transitional Federal Government in the presence of the Prime Minister.
The second day of the JSC meeting was facilitated by UNPOS and the TFG. In addition to Somali stakeholders, it was attended by members of the International Community, including Denmark, Egypt, France, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, as well as the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), and the United Nations (UN).
The AMISOM Force Commander briefed the Committee on military and security developments since the last meeting, including the status of AMISOM expansion under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2036 (2012). The Somali Chief of Defence Force (CDF) provided a further update from a Somali security forces perspective. The following issues were identified:
- Any change in Al-Shabaab tactics, particularly during the current political process, could pose challenges to AMISOM and Somali forces but should not be allowed to become a distraction;
- The 'migration' of Al-Shabaab from South Central Somalia is likely to result in an increase in support required by the Somali forces.
Following the security update the Somali CDF briefed the JSC on the proposed Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for 'Integration and Strengthening the Operational Capabilities of the National Security Forces'. This generated considerable and lengthy debate and discussion and, while agreeing the broad thrust of the CONOPS which seeks, through a phased approach, to support and integrate those forces engaged in current operations against Al-Shabaab, the Committee emphasised the following issues and requirements:
- The urgent need to support the immediate requirements of the Somali security forces operating alongside AMISOM, urging all partners to provide assistance to meet identified gaps;
- The need for a further CONOPS, supported by detailed plans and realistic costs, for longer-term restructuring to be drawn up;
- Medium to long-term integration and restructuring must be inclusive: it must include all regions, and structures and organisations must be representative;
- Resource requirements must be identified and the Somali authorities must be prepared, with clear timelines, to assume responsibility for recurrent costs such as salaries and stipends through regular revenue mechanisms;
- The importance of an exit strategy for AMISOM. To support this, investment in the long-term by the international community must be focused on capacity building rather than simply sustaining current forces;
- The JSC and its subordinate Technical Working Groups (TWGs) must continue to act as the primary focus for planning and coordination.
- Further welcomed the plans to recruit personnel from the regions for training by the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in Bihanga as part of Cohort 6;
- Encouraged recruits to be drawn from other forces providing they would be fully integrated into and expected to remain with the Somali National Security Force upon completion of their training and return to Somalia.
The Deputy Minister of Interior then briefed on the status of the costing and prioritization of the National Security and Stabilisation Plan (NSSP), noting that the JSC Technical Working Groups (TWGs) were using the NSSP to plan, monitor and report the delivery of capability across the Security and Justice sectors. The Committee noted and welcomed the appointment of an NSSP Secretariat staff with support and funding from the International Organisation of Migration (IOM).
The Committee was then briefed on the status of planning for establishing a comprehensive programme for 'Disengaged Former Combatants' which generated considerable and animated debate. While there was concern with what appeared to have been slow process with such an important issue the Committee agreed the following:
- The need for greater coordination and cooperation.
- The need to rapidly and effectively operationalise agreed policy, programmes, and processes.
The Committee further requested that this issue be the primary agenda item at the next JSC, scheduled for July, emphasising the need to draw together stakeholders at an early opportunity.
The meeting was concluded at 1500 hours on 8 May 2012.