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Somali opposes proposals to scale down Amisom troops

MOGADISHU (SD) – Somali government has officially opposed modification of African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) role barely two months after a report by an AU assessment team called for dawndraw of AU troops in the horn of Africa nation.

Foreign Minister, Mohamed Abdirizak has termed the recommendations by the report as “devoid of realities”, saying his government informed the AU of its position last week.

“The experts who conducted the assessment didn’t sufficiently consult with the federal government of Somalia,” Abdirizak told VOA Somali.

The minister noted that the report and its options are not good options at this point, noting

Abdirizak said his government had devised a Somali transition plan (STP) “that eventually transfers security responsibilities to Somalis.

“It’s a plan where the leadership of security will be taking their views and orders from the Somali side. This is the best way to transition AMISOM security responsibilities to Somali security responsibilities,” the minister said.

Late May, the AU team proposed four options which could ease concerns about funding African union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

Its first and preferred recommendation would be a hybrid mission of the African Union and United Nations, with a mix of police (50%), military personnel (35%) and civilians (15%). The AU report did not specify troop strength but recommended a gradual reduction.

The team’s second option was recommended that AMISOM reconfigure and modify its mission

The AU team’s remaining two options were deploying an East African standby force or having AMISOM exit the country.

The report’s authors said the latter could be accomplished in six months, but they warned against a hasty exit.

In 2007, African Union had deployed troops contributed by its members including Burundi and Uganda to support Somali government in peace restoration.

The mission later evolved into forces to back the government forces against Al-Shabaab fighters in different parts of the country.

Currently, the mission has more than 14,900 soldiers from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti and Ethiopia.

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