AUPSC backs joint AU and UN stabilization mission in Somalia

Somalia map
Somalia map

The African Union’s Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) has endorsed a joint stabilization mission with the United Nations to help shore up peacekeeping operations in Somalia next year.

The AU body said in a statement released by the AU mission in Somalia in Mogadishu on Monday that it was adopting the AU-UN multidimensional stabilization mission in Somalia, deployed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter which would ensure predictable and sustainable multi-year financing for the future mission, through UN assessed contributions.

“The Council underscores, in particular, the need for such a mission to adopt a holistic and comprehensive multidimensional approach, beyond security and stabilization,” the AUPSC said.

It stressed that this approach should have balanced military and police components capable of addressing the threat identified in Somalia, as well as a strengthened civilian component to provide a robust political engagement that can assist the political process and the Somali authorities in finalizing key governance arrangements and institutions.

AMISOM, whose mandate is due to expire in 2022, is a peace support operation with nearly 20,000 forces on the ground mainly from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti.

Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Uganda, Ghana and Sierra Leone are the six police-contributing countries. The UN-backed AU mission has been in Somalia since January 2007 to support the government gain its foothold and degrade the extremist group. An independent experts report in August proposed that the multidimensional force should take over from AMISOM.

Somalia has previously opposed such an AU-UN arrangement, arguing that having a multidimensional stabilization mission will not guarantee security.

The AUPSC expressed concern about the deteriorating security situation in Somalia which it said has seen a worrying resurgence in al-Shabab activities and other terrorist groups in large parts of the country.

The AU body requested the AU and the UN, in consultation with Somalia and the international donors, to finalize as a matter of urgency the joint report on the strategic objectives, mandate, size and composition of the AU-UN multidimensional stabilization mission in Somalia.

The AU Council emphasized that the joint report should address all support mechanisms to the follow-on mission and the government, including the realignment of political and logistical support provided by the UN Assistance Mission in Somali (UNSOM) and the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).

The AUPSC mandated the AU Commission immediately to begin consultations with the UN, Somalia, and other key stakeholders, on the modalities for transitioning to an AU-UN multidimensional stabilization mission in Somalia.

It also appealed to the UN Security Council to consider a technical roll-over of the AMISOM mandate while discussions continue on the details and modalities for the transition towards the post-2021 arrangement due to the complexity of the discussions on such a transition and the fragility of the security situation in Somalia. Enditem

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