The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia and Head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Ambassador Francisco Madeira, on Sunday (9th June) met with the Speaker of Somalia’s Parliament, Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman, to discuss various issues of national interest including AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) joint operations.
Briefing the media after the closed-door meeting, Ambassador Madeira said, among others, they discussed the status of the Electoral law which has been tabled before the House of Parliament. The Electoral law is part of the roadmap to the one-person-one-vote 2020/2021 Somalia elections.
Ambassador Madeira also updated the speaker on progress made in paying amends for civilian casualties. He said, “There has been a lack of positive response from the international community to the repeated appeals by AMISOM and UNSOS (United Nations Support Office in Somalia) for the provision of funds to pay amends for the civilian casualties. As a result, no funds were contributed by the wider international Community despite the pledging conference jointly organised by UNSOS and AMISOM to this effect. Given the seriousness of the situation, AMISOM appealed to the African Union member states to make a special consideration”.
He revealed that in this connection, in late 2018, the African Union member states contributed 200,000 US Dollars and AMISOM has since been disbursing funds to affected individuals or their families. The African Union member states have generously pledged to avail a similar amount of money for 2019.
He reiterated AMISOM’s commitment to delivering its mandate in Somalia, including supporting with stabilisation and early recovery efforts to help provide quick impact projects and basic infrastructure in various communities.
“In 2018, for instance, AMISOM undertook 47 quick impact projects. They included rehabilitating existing community infrastructure such as schools, water points, access roads, and health centres. We also created opportunities for self-employment among youth, women and child-headed households,” he revealed. He added that AMISOM also supports institutional development by strengthening the capacity of local authorities.
On communication support, he said AMISOM has no money and receives no funds in its budget meant for strategic communication support to the Somali National Army, Somali Police Force, Somali Civil Society Organisations or any other organisation. Even in relation to its own strategic communication, what AMISOM receives is part of the logistical support package provided to it by the United Nations.
“Like what happens with the rations for the soldiers or any other provisions to our mission by the UN, AMISOM does not receive cash for its strategic communication activities, rather, it receives strategic communication support services, as and when the Mission requests UNSOS for such services. UNSOS holds and manages the funds and, as per the relevant Security Council resolutions, these strategic communication support funds are not meant for the FGS or CSOs. AMISOM is not allowed to ask for cash from UNSOS. It can only request for services,” he revealed.