Ethiopia: AU seeks funding for its overburdened mission in Somalia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Funding challenges facing the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have prompted the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the AU to call for a high level meeting, involving the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN), in order to explore modalities for addressing the problem.

In view of the challenges, the PSC has requested the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) to urgently undertake strategic consultations to explore various funding options for AMISOM, said a communiqué issued by the Council on Monday, following its meeting which, on 16 January 2017,  considered the Report of the Chairperson on the situation in Somalia.

"Council further requests the Commission to engage the EU with a view to finding a consensual solution to the payment of allowances to Burundi troops in AMISOM, based on a non-discriminatory approach," the communiqué said.

AMISOM comprises troops and police from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda.

In addition, the PSC has requested the United Nations Security Council to authorize an AMISOM troop surge of 4,500 for a non-renewable period of six months, in order to undertake AMISOM mandated tasks as set out in the 2016 AMISOM Concept of Operations (CONOPs), especially in relation to the expansion of offensive operations as well as facilitate the exit strategy of the Mission.

In this respect, the Council has requested the AU Commission and AMISOM to spare no effort in ensuring that all operations are conducted in accordance with the CONOPs and within the proposed timelines.

According to the communiqué, the Council also called on the international community to continue to provide and increase its support to AMISOM  and the Somalia National Security Forces (SNSF) commensurate with the challenges being faced in their efforts to promote and consolidate peace and security in Somalia.

Paying tribute to all the AMISOM uniformed and civilian personnel for their continued commitment and sacrifices, the PSC urged the troop and police contributing countries to maintain their presence in Somalia in accordance with the timeline of deployment in order to avoid creating a security vacuum and other related negative consequences.

Besides, the Council has commended the AMISOM leadership and the troop and police contributing countries "for their continued efforts to ensure full compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law in the conduct of the Mission’s military operations, including the prompt establishment of boards of inquiry and other necessary mechanisms to investigate allegations of violations by AMISOM uniformed personnel."

When the AU deployed AMISOM in January 2007, it was on the understanding that the Mission would be in Somalia for a period of six months.

At that time, the Mission aimed essentially at contributing to the initial stabilization phase in Somalia and, thereafter, it would evolve into a UN operation for supporting long term stabilization and post-conflict reconstruction of Somalia.
-0- PANA AR 23Jan2017

23 january 2017 17:47:25

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