The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) have jointly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) wherein both parties agreed to the cooperation and provision of services that support the mission in the achievement of its mandate.
The main objective of the MoU is to create a binding, mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship between AMISOM and ACCORD on specific initiatives which facilitate the implementation of AMISOM's mandate in support of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS). The mutual purpose is to contribute towards durable peace and sustainable development in Somalia.
The signing of the MoU took place on 30 July 2013 at the ACCORD House in Durban, South Africa. The MoU was signed by Ambassador Mahamat Salah Annadif, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and Head of Mission (SRCC/HoM), and Mr. Vasu Gounden, ACCORD's Executive Director. Other delegates from AMISOM included Mr. Ali Mahamat Zene, Deputy Special Representative and Head of Mission (DSRCC/HoM); Mr. James Gadin, AMISOM Political Affairs Officer; Mr. Selidji Gbaduidi, AMISOM Head of Finance; and Mr. Ian Chingwalu Senior Human Resource Officer - in addition, Mr. Zinurine Alghali, Senior Civilian Policy Officer: Training African Union Commission Peace Support Operations Division was in attendance. ACCORD representatives included, Mr. Jerome Sachane, Deputy Executive Director; Mr. Senzo Ngubane, General Manager: Operations; Dr. Martha Mutisi, Manager: Interventions Department; Mr. Kwezi Mngqibisi, Somalia Initiative Coordinator; Ms. Caroline Sipalla, Country Programmes Senior Programme Officer; Ms. Seun Abiola, Peacekeeping Unit Acting Coordinator; and Olivia Victoria Davies, ACCORD's Peacekeeping Unit Programme Officer. Following the signing of the MoU, a technical meeting was held on 31 July 2013, to discuss the modalities for the implementation of the MoU.
The MoU reflects the mutual commitment of both AMISOM and ACCORD to support durable peace and sustainable development in Somalia. AMISOM supports the FGS in its efforts to stabilize the situation in Somalia, and contributes to the restoration of peace, security and development in the country, through the implementation of its mandate as set out in the Communiqué issued by the AU Peace and Security Council at the end of its 127th Meeting held on 19 January 2007 - and the extension of its mandate by the United Nations in 2013 under Resolution 2093, to continue to maintain a presence across the four sectors in which it is currently deployed until 28 February 2014, and to work closely with Somali government forces and the Federal Government of Somalia to reduce the threat posed by the Al-Shabaab terror group, as well as create conditions for effective and legitimate governance across the country. ACCORD's work throughout Africa, to bring creative African solutions to African challenges, has also included engagement in Somalia to contribute to peace efforts as far back as the 1990s, with the primary aim to influence political developments. In particular, through the Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme under the Peacekeeping Unit, ACCORD has been supporting AU Peace Support Operations such as AMISOM to enhance its policies, systems, capacity and capability to successfully implement its mandate - support which has fostered stronger collaboration between TfP/ACCORD and AMISOM, and which culminated in this MoU. In 2013, ACCORD's Somalia Initiative was established in Mogadishu, Somalia, to contribute towards Somalia's reconstruction through capacity building; provision of technical assistance in state and institution building; and project management relating to issues of governance.
The MoU articulates a broader partnership between AMISOM and ACCORD, and extends to all units and programmes within ACCORD, noting the need for various initiatives which go beyond the mandate and strategic focus of the Peacekeeping Unit at ACCORD. The areas of cooperation as outlined in the MoU include support to: political processes in Somalia and the inclusion of key stakeholders; coherence and coordination between internal and external actors; gender mainstreaming in AMISOM's operations and enhancement of the situation of women in Somalia; institutional development in Somalia; policy development to support AMISOM; and capacity-building for AMISOM personnel. The MoU falls within the scope of AMISOM's mandate, and ACCORD's vision to influence political developments by bringing conflict resolution, dialogue and institutional development to the forefront as an alternative to armed violence and protracted conflict.
The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.