Panafrican News Agency

AMISOM stabilisation mission in Somalia hangs on four-point scenario

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) – The African Union and the UN Security Council are consulting based on a four-point scenario on the future of fighting the Al Shabaab insurgents in Somalia, with the option of creating a hybrid peacekeeping mission managed jointly by the AU and the UN, officials said Friday.

AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole Adeoye said as the mandate of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) ends in 2021, its review would be based on a four-point scenario, which has not been agreed and remains the opinion of a team of military consultants.

The team of South African security experts has proposed the reconfiguration of the 19,600-strong AMISOM into a hybrid UN peacekeeping mission conducted jointly with the AU.

The second option is to have the AMISOM recreated into a non-combat mission, with a new mandate of supporting political unity in Somalia, Adeoye told a news conference in Addis Ababa.

The third option is to have the East African countries jointly deploying troops under the umbrella of an AU  East African Standby Force.

The forth option placed on the table is the total withdrawal of the 19,600-strong AMISOM peacekeepers.

“There is no decision which has been taken and these proposals remain the opinion of the consultants from the South African Development Community (SADC). The UN is leaning towards the Hybrid option. The Somalia Federal Government is leaning towards option two—the non-combat mission—we are continuing to engage with Somalia to agree on an option,” Adeoye said.

The AU Peace and Security Council has stated that it would support whichever option is chosen, but it must have a predictable financing plan and must have the option to fully guarantee peace in Somalia.

“The only way to guarantee peace is to guarantee stability. The UN must remember that even though the UN Charter still calls for non-combat missions, there is no peace to keep when there are humanitarian workers and a ruthless terror group. We want a clear command and control structure,” the AU Commissioner said.

He said the forces deployment in Somalia must take into consideration the fact that there is no peace to keep in Somalia.

The AU Peace and Security Council, the European Union and the UN Security Council are working with a group now known as the Quartet, which includes the African countries represented at the UN Security Council, to agree on the best option for keeping Somalia stable.

“We are working in the hope that we will come to a common position which we shall take to the UN Security Council,” Adeoye told journalists and members of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee who attended the virtual press conference.

-0- PANA AO/AR 4Sept2021