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United Nations Security Council extends AMISOM mandate by three months

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | | Updated: 2021-12-22 19:45
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The African Union Mission in Somalia will extend their stay for three more months following a resolution by the United Nations Security Council. This comes after a vote on Tuesday over the future of the peacekeeping troops.

The decision reached under Resolution 2614/2021 grants the peacekeeping force needed certainty as Somalia and the African Union discuss whether to completely withdraw or rebrand to an AU-UN hybrid mission.

"The UN Security Council has authorized the member states of the African Union to maintain the deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia until 31 March 2022," the resolution states.

The UN Security Council also requested the UN Secretary-General to continue to provide a logistical support package for Somalia.

"The UN Security Council further authorizes AMISOM to take all necessary measures in full compliance with participating states' obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and in full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, to carry out its mandate as set out," the statement said.

The resolution to add three months to AMISOM's stay, whose mandate was to expire on Dec 31, means the African Union force will continue with its operations against the Al-Shabaab militant group as it awaits a formal deal between Mogadishu and the African Union on whether the mission should exit, restructure or reorganize.

In March, the UN Security Council extended the AMISOM mandate from February to December 2021 to allow for a discussion on its future, which could also include a review of the concept of operations by the African Union and Somalia.

AMISOM is mandated to pursue several strategic objectives including enabling the gradual handing over of security responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somali security forces, contingent on abilities of the Somali security forces and political and security progress in Somalia.

The force also works to reduce the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups as well as assist the Somali security forces to provide security for the political process at all levels as well as stabilization, reconciliation and peace-building in Somalia.

The AMISOM troops have been contributed by African nations which include Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Uganda and Djibouti. Currently, the force has 22,000 peacekeepers in Somalia paid by international partners of the United Nations.

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