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Somalia, AU agree on mission assistance beyond 2021

MOGADISHU (SD) – The African Union (AU) and Somali government have agreed on a roadmap to rework the mandate and configuration of the AMISOM operations in the country beyond the end of this year.

Speaking about the two-day talks between Somalia and Amisom, Fiona Lortan, the Acting Director of Conflict Management at the Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, who led the AU and AMISOM team at the negotiations said the talks focused on ‘new mission should look like, and what the mandate of the new mission will be.

“The mandate of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) comes to an end this year (2021). We have been discussing what will replace AMISOM come January 2022,” said Lortan.

The director general in the ministry of defence Said Samantar said the new plan will be implemented gradually taking into consideration the level of preparedness by Somali Security Forces.

“We have signed an important agreement for Somalia, which now kick-starts the transition period,” Samantar said. “It is a step-by-step process that will be implemented in piecemeal, and we will gradually exchange roles with our African brothers and sisters who have been helping us for some time now.”

The new agreement comes in the wake of a fallout between Somali government and the African Union over a proposed reconfiguration of AMISOM. An AU commissioned report released last month proposed a hybrid AU-UN Stabilisation Force to take over from AMISOM after December 2021.

The United Nations Security Council in March adopted a resolution reauthorizing the AMISOM until Dec. 31 and maintaining its overall 19,626 uniformed personnel level ahead of the phased handover of responsibilities to Somali security forces, planned for later in 2021.

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