African Union endorses joint mission in Somalia; FGS rejects the plan
ADDIS ABABA - The African Union's Peace and Security Council has endorsed a joint mission with United Nations in Somalia, which now means if approved, the joint mission will take over from African Union Mission Forces [AMISOM].
The mandate of AMISOM was set to expire in 2022, with close to 22,000 troops expected to exit. In June, the African Union extended the mandate of AMISOM for another six months and the term is set to expire in January 2021.
Monday's resolutions under Chapter VII mean Somalia's peacekeeping operations next year will be monitored by the United Nations. The plan will need UNSC approval and expands troop-contributing countries.
Already, the Somali government has previously opposed the plan, adding that the plan will not help the security sector in Somalia. Currently, there are five troop-contributing countries in Somalia and have been in the country for a decade.
These countries include Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Burundi. The entire force is about 22,000 and has been working closely with the Somali National Army [SNA] in thwarting Al-Shabaab militants, who control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
Currently, the European, Union, the United States, the United Nations among others are funding the AMISOM team in Somalia and when the changes are effected, it means that the United Nations will directly coordinate the security operations in Somalia.
The AMISOM team is credited for liberating several strategic towns in Somalia which had been under Al-Shabaab militants. But in return, there have been accusations that the forces are targeting innocent civilians in the country.
Somalia has been battling against Al-Shabaab militants for the last 14 years but the reinforcement from the AMISOM contributing countries has managed to reduce the threat. Somalia is yet to hold presidential elections following an unprecedented delay.