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UN Security Council extends mandate of AU mission in Somalia

MOGADISHU (SD) – The UN Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia until December this year.

The Council voted unanimously on Friday to extend for nine months the mandate of AMISOM which has been operating in the Horn of Africa Nation for more than a decade.

“The Security Council announced today its adoption of a resolution reauthorizing the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) until 31 December 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,” the resolution reads in part.

AMISOM was to started withdrawal from Somalia mid this month but Kenya, Niger and Tunisia had pressed the council which currently is lead by UK to consider the situation in Somalia.

The Council further requested that the African Union and the Federal Government conduct a joint update of AMISOM’s Concept of Operations, in accordance with the Somalia Transition Planuntil the end of 2023 — in close collaboration with the federal member states, the United Nations and international partners — to be presented to the Security Council no later than the end of August 2021.

“Among other functions, AMISOM will be authorized to realign its sectors with the boundaries of federal member states by the end of 2021 and establish a joint planning headquarters between AMISOM and the Somali security forces in each sector/federal member state.  It will also help the national security forces become more offensive as a quick reaction force by the end of August 2021,” the UN Security Council stated.

AMISOM which was formed in 2007 currently controls over 20,000 troops drawn from Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia.

The troops help the internationally recognized Somali government to take control of large swath territories from Al-shabaab.

The forces also train Somali police in order to restore law and order in the country which is struggles to bounce back its feet following two decades of civil war.

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