AMISOM military commanders meet to plan on speeding up operations

Mogadishu:-Military commanders of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have agreed to accelerate the implementation of joint operations with the Somalia National Army (SNA), enhance electoral security and prepare for AMISOM post 2021.
At a two-day meeting in Mogadishu this week, the commanders evaluated progress made so far on AMISOM’s Concept of Operations, the Somalia Transition Plan and on implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 2568 (2021).
The Somalia Transition Plan is a comprehensive strategy developed by the Federal Government of Somalia and its partners to guide the transfer of security responsibilities to Somalia Security Forces ahead of AMISOM’s exit from the country. The Concept of Operations (CONOPS) supports the implementation of the Somalia Transition Plan. As part of the Concept of Operations, AMISOM has been reconfiguring its military, police, and civilian components. Under this, the military commanders of AMISOM and SNA have had several engagements to develop a detailed plan to implement the military aspects of the concept.
As directed by the Concept of Operations, AMISOM commanders have already established mobile and quick reaction forces within their areas of responsibility to enhance the effectiveness of military operations in countering the threat posed by Al-Shabaab militants. The reconfiguration has enabled AMISOM to maintain operational effectiveness, respond to threats, and plan future target operations, in line with the gradual transfer of security responsibilities to the Somalia Forces.
“The output of this meeting will inform and feed into the upcoming conference which we will have with the Somalia security forces and Somalia’s international partners. Whatever the nature of the post-2021 mission, it is imperative for all our troops in the sectors to strengthen their offensive capability ” said AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya.
“I appreciate the enduring work AMISOM forces have done in the sectors to ensure security and stability in Somalia. However, there is the need to generate a revised joint AMISOM/SNA realistic, workable, and fixed concept of operations, which will respond appropriately to threat assessments and an assessment of the friendly forces,” he said.
The Deputy Force Commander of AMISOM in charge of Operations and Plans, Maj. Gen. William Kitsao Shume, told the commanders that while challenges exist, great progress has been made.
“Our mandate is to degrade Al-Shabaab, which we continue to do since we came into
Somalia. We have secured population centres which gives the local population the freedom to go about their day-to-day activities,” said Maj. Gen. Shume.

Source: Somali National News Agency

Communique of the 1016th meeting of the PSC held on 3 August 2021 on the Report of the AU Commission on Progress of the Political Transition in Chad and the AU Support Mechanism (AUSM)

Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 1016th meeting held on 3 August 2021 on the Report of the AU Commission on Progress of the Political Transition in Chad and the AU Support Mechanism (AUSM),
Peace and Security Council,
Recalling all its previous decisions on the situation in Chad, in particular, Communique [PSC/PR/COMM.(CMXCVI)] adopted at its 996th meeting held on 14 May 2021 and Communique [PAS/PR/COMM.(CMXCIII) adopted at its 993rd meeting held on 22 April 2021;
Noting the opening remarks by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cameroon to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for the month of August 2021, H.E. Ambassador Churchill Ewumbue-Monono and the presentations by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, as well as by the AU High Representative for Chad and Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission in Chad, H.E. Ambassador Basile Ikouebe;
Further noting the statements by the Permanent Representative of Chad to the AU, H.E. Ambassador Mahamat Ali Hassan and the representatives of the Republic of Congo as Chairperson of the Economic Community of Central African States, (ECCAS), the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, H.E. Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, as well as the ECCAS Secretariat, the Community of Sahel-Sahara Countries (CEN-SAD) and the European Union (EU);
Mindful of the linkages between the security situation in Libya, Chad and the entire Central Africa, Lake Chad Basin and Sahel-Sahara regions, as well as the imperative of concerted and sustained efforts to collectively address the situation in Chad; and
Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,
1. Notes with satisfaction the progress made thus far, including the establishment of a civilian Transition Government, the process for the formation of the National Transitional Council (NTC), the official adoption of a roadmap for the Transition, requiring substantial financial resources and comprising of three major components, namely: the strengthening of security and defense, the organization of a national dialogue and the consolidation of national unity, as well as the release of political prisoners, the return of political exiles, and the legalization of political activities;
2. In this regard, commends the Chadian authorities for creating an enabling environment for the transition; and encourages them to expedite the implementation of the remaining transitional tasks, and to recommit to complete the transition within the stipulated 18 months timeframe;
3. Welcomes the steps taken by the Chairperson of the Commission in implementation of Communiqué [PSC/BR/COMM. (CMXCVI)] of its 996th meeting, in particular the appointment of H.E. Ambassador Basile Ikouebe as the AU High Representative, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission (SRCC) and Head of the AU Office in Ndjamena; and equally welcoming the appointment of the Special Envoy of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to Chad, H.E. Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, and encourages the close collaboration between the two towards consolidating support for the political transition in Chad;
4. Emphasizes that there can be no sustainable military solution to the challenges facing Chad and that only through a genuine and inclusive national dialogue, can the Chadian stakeholders amicably and consensually find a lasting solution to their political differences; restates its call for unconditional dialogue between the Transition Government and all relevant Chadian stakeholders including opposition political parties and armed groups and, in this regard, commends the role of the Government of Republic of Togo in mediating the negotiations between the Transition Government and the armed groups;
5. Welcomes with satisfaction, the organization of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on 4 June and 30 July 2021 and the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) on 25 May 2021 in Abuja, both dedicated to the consideration of the sociopolitical and security situation in the Republic of Chad;
6. Further reaffirms the call on the Transition Government to respect the 18 months’ period for the completion of the transition, and reiterates that the members of the Military Transition Council shall not be eligible to be candidates for the elections at the end of the Transition;
7. Encourages the Commission of Inquiry to expedite the investigations into the brutal killing of former President Idriss Deby Itno, in order to bring the perpetrators to justice;
8. Renews the call for the urgent withdrawal from Chad, of all mercenaries and foreign fighters including those from Libya and, in this regard requests the AU Commission, in full coordination with Member States, to expedite the finalization of the AU Policy Paper on addressing the potential impact of the withdrawal of foreign troops and mercenaries from Libya on the Central Africa region and the Sahel and to submit for final approval by the PSC;
9. Urges the Transition Government of Chad and the Government of Central African Republic to expedite the investigations into the border incidences of June 2021, while welcoming the current joint efforts by the two countries towards finding amicable solutions of the border-related disputes; in the spirit of good neighborliness and cordial bilateral relations;
10. Underlines the need to redouble efforts to address the scourge of proliferation of illicit weapons, in line with 2010 Central African Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and all Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly (Kinshasa Convention);
11. Calls on technical and financial partners to spare no effort in supporting, through all possible means, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to enable it continue to record successes against the terrorist nebula in the Lake Chad Basin area: such support may occur in the provision of resources for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for military operations as well as financial resources;
12. Once again, notes with concern, the dire humanitarian situation in Chad aggravated by the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and, in this respect, reiterates its appeal to all AU Member States, which are in a position to do so, as well as to the rest of the humanitarian community, to scale up support to the population in need;
13. Commends Member States hosting refugees having fled Chad as from 20 April 2021 and recognizes the need for the International Community to take into account burden sharing related to the presence of Chadian refugees in their territories.
14. Underscores the importance of redoubled efforts in mobilizing the required resources for the AUSM, appeals to international partners and philanthropists to make generous contributions in order to facilitate a successful transition;
15. In this context, also appeals to the of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) Sub-Committee on General Supervision and Coordination on Budgetary, Financial and Administrative Matters, to expeditiously convene to consider and approve the proposed supplementary budget on the AUSM through the EU Early Response Mechanism (ERM), in order to optimally render full support to the transition in Chad;
16. Commends all regional actors, including ECCAS, CENSAD and LCBC, as well as development partners for their continued commitment to support the political transition in Chad, particularly the EU for pledging the sum of 3 million Euros under the ERM in favor of the AUSM;
17. Notes the first quarterly progress report on the political transition in Chad by the Commission and looks forward to receiving the next quarterly progress report of the AU Commission on the political transition in Chad and on the AU Support Mechanism;
18. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Source: African Union

Tokyo Paralympics: leaping towards a more inclusive society

Innovators are joining Paralympians to discuss how sport can help to build a more inclusive society in a series of online discussions organized by the UN to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, which continues until 5 September.
After losing her right leg in a car accident as a Japanese high school student, Kaede Maegawa was grateful when her friends offered her support. Yet, she sometimes felt that she wouldn’t be capable of doing anything on her own.
In order to regain her confidence, she asked her friends and teachers to let her try do things on her own. This started her on the road to becoming an elite athlete, and a competitor at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Ms. Maegawa shares her story during SDG Zone at Tokyo panel discussion, in which three inspirational Paralympians talk about the power of sport to expand horizons, and what the Paralympic values – courage, determination inspiration, and equality, mean to them.
Ms. Maegawa, who competes in the long jump, is joined by renowned Sierra Leonean table-tennis para-athlete George Wyndham, and Miki Matheson, three-times Paralympic gold medalist in ice sledge speed racing.
Breaking barriers with technology
Innovations featured in the Paralympics can eventually help all disabled people, explains Ken Endo, CEO of the technology company Xiborg, in a conversation highlighting technology, design, and initiatives that are making sport more accessible and enjoyable for all.
Mr. Endo leads a project to make a running-specific prosthesis called “blade” available for all, not only for athletes, and is working to break down various barriers, especially in developing countries, exploring how locally available materials can be used to develop blades and increase the number of people using prostheses.
The panel also features Lucy Meyer, Spokesperson for the Special Olympics-UNICEF USA Partnership, for young people with disabilities, and a five-times gold medal swimmer in the Special Olympics.
Ms. Meyer, who also has cerebral palsy, says that doctors told her parents that she wouldn’t be able to sit up or swallow but “we are so happy to report that the doctors were very wrong!”
She is very active in Special Olympics programme which enables children with and without disabilities to compete together in team sports. “It’s important to me that everyone accepts and includes everyone, but especially people with disabilities, because we are no different.”
Looking to the future
The last session of the SDG Zone at Tokyo looks at what sport can bring to the next generation, and how it can help societies to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and improve.
South Sudanese Olympic athlete Abraham Guem, recounts the many challenges he, his team and the team’s host city of Maebashi have faced during the pandemic, with the unexpected upside that, because of the postponement of the Games, he was able to spend more time in Maebashi than expected, building links and making friends with local people.
The mayor of Maebashi, Ryu Yamamoto testifies to the positive experience of hosting the South Sudanese athletes, and believes the city is changed as a result. “Everyone must have felt encouraged to see these young people, from such a distant place in Africa, absorbed in intensive practice”.
Looking towards Paris 2024, Roxana Maracineanu, the French Minister of Sport, and an Olympic medal-winning swimmer, shared her hope that the path towards the next Olympic and Paralympic Games will foster stronger collaboration between sports movements, sport education at schools, and various sectors to enable everyone to leverage the power of sport to improve the world.
The SDG Zone at Tokyo
SDG Media Zone brings together world leaders, influencers, activists, experts, content creators and media partners to highlight actions and solutions in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The SDG ZONE at TOKYO is organized by the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC), the United Nations Information Centre Tokyo (UNIC Tokyo), and the Asahi Shimbun Company, a founding member of the SDG Media Compact.
It is the first of the SDG Media Zone series to be organized fully by a DGC country office.
The first half of the online discussion was held between 28 and 30 July, timed with the Olympic Games.

Source: UN News Center

Climate scientists predict drier conditions for Horn of Africa sub-region; to affect food security

ADDIS ABABA, Climate scientists drawn from the Greater Horn of Africa sub-region are predicting a drier than usual short rains season that begins in October and ends in December.

Speaking at the end of the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF), the Director of the Igad Climate Predictions and Applications Center (ICPAC) Dr Guleid Artan said the impacts from the drought could adversely affect food security.

“The food security and nutrition situation is likely to worsen especially in the Arid and Semi-Arid regions, requiring the need for expanding humanitarian assistance and interventions across the region,” said Dr Artan, adding that, generally, poor rains, late-onset, coupled with other non-climatic drivers like COVID-19, economic shocks, and conflict present poor prospects for farming across the region.

He called for concerted efforts aimed at ensuring that the vulnerable communities are cushioned against the adverse effects of the drought.

“Cumulatively the region has been facing rainfall deficits adding that this will be compounded by non-climatic shocks like Covid-19 and conflicts which could worsen the food security situation in the region,” he said.

The climate scientists from the Greater Horn of Africa countries of; Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda warned that 2021 is expected to continue to be, a drier than usual year for the majority of the region.

According to the scientists, observations of rainfall over the past months reveal that the region has been facing rainfall deficits in many parts of central and southern East Africa “and this is forecasted to continue until December 2021.”

Noting that the start of the season is expected to be delayed by up to two weeks, especially over eastern Kenya and southern Somalia, Dr Artan said that the forecast indicates that South Sudan, north-western Uganda, and south-western Ethiopia could receive over 200 and 300 mm during the entire season.

“Besides the dry conditions, warmer than usual temperatures are expected across the region,” said Dr Artan and added that in particular in eastern Kenya to Somalia, eastern parts of Ethiopia, and eastern Sudan are expected to experience dry conditions.

The dry conditions are attributed to the negative Indian Ocean Dipole which is drawing the moisture away from the region.

A positive IOD is what encourages rainfall in the Horn of Africa region during the short rains season of October, November and December. When there is a negative IOD the opposite happens where there is reduced rainfall in the region.

The Climate Scientists indicate that the OND season shows that the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the negative IOD is expected to interact with regional circulation patterns in a way that typically depresses seasonal rainfall in the region.

Source: NAM News Network

Chad Rebel Group FACT Says It’s Willing to Join National Dialogue

N’DJAMENA, CHAD – A Chadian military-political rebel group behind this year’s deadly insurgency said on Friday it was prepared to take part in a national dialogue proposed by transitional president Mahamat Idriss Deby.
Deby seized power in April after his father, the former president, was killed while visiting troops fighting the rebels, who had crossed the border from Libya to take a stand against the elder’s 30-year rule.
The Libya-based rebel group that claimed responsibility for Deby’s death, known as the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), has now welcomed his son’s offer to hold talks with all stakeholders, including opposition armed groups.
“If there are peaceful initiatives to build a new democratic Chad without dictatorship and the absolute confiscation of power, of course we will join them,” said FACT spokesperson Kingabe Ogouzeimi de Tapol.
Deby’s Transitional Military Council (CMT) has previously refused to negotiate with rebel groups, in particular members of FACT, which in April swept south from bases in Libya and reached within 300 kilometers of the capital, N’Djamena, before being pushed back by the army.

Source: Voice of America