The African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) continues to face challenges in its interaction with the civilian population and its responses to the militant group, al-Shabaab. The Mission has stated its intent to begin withdrawal from Somalia in 2018, to be completed by 2020; however, Somalia’s security situation is uncertain. Approximately 20,000 local forces need to be trained and other measures put in place to ensure that AMISOM’s withdrawal does not cause the country to descend into further violence.
In the fall of 2016, CIVIC was invited by AMISOM to lead a conference to draft an amends and post harm assistance policy and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). After sustained advocacy by CIVIC over several years, the African Union (AU) and AMISOM gave official support for such a mechanism. CIVIC delivered the draft to the AU in November and the SOP is currently pending adoption. The significant progress on this SOP will hopefully be replicated in all future AU operations. CIVIC has also received formal sign off granting CIVIC access to work with CCTARC staff to assess gaps in and obstacles to CCTARC’s current work.We continue to work with the Peace and Security Operations Division of AU headquarters to secure an official memorandum of understanding, laying the groundwork for future work across the African Union.