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mandate of AU mission in Somalia extended

ADDIS ABABA (SD) – The mandate of African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) has been extended until December 31 this year, ending security uncertainties as the country heads towards parliamentary and presidential elections, AU said.

According to African Union (AU), the extension was approved on Tuesday at a meeting of the AU’s 15-member Peace and Security Council.

“At today’s AUPSC, Council reached consensus to extend Amisom’s mandate until December 31, 2021,” the Council said in a statement.

As the AU’s permanent decision-making body for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, the Peace and Security Council comprises 15 members elected by rotation for three years.

 It currently includes Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Egypt and Nigeria. Others are Algeria, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Senegal.

Amisom, which has been in Somalia since 2007, was formed by the AU to stabilize Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government.

Since then, the mandate has been extended almost every year, due to security concerns posed by the militant group al-Shabaab.

The mission helped Somali military liberate many towns including the capital following heavy clashes with al-Shabaab militants.

This year, the AU and UN plan was troops serving under Amisom to leave the country, with the exception of technical personnel.

However, the AU slowed down the departure after political stakeholders in Somalia failed to agree on a political calendar to hold indirect elections before February 8 as earlier scheduled.

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