AMISOM to keep in Somalia for 10 more months

The United Nations Security Council has authorized the extension of the African Union Mission in Somalia- AMISOM for an additional 10 months, until 30 May 2017.

The decision follows the Secretary General’s recommendation that conditions in the Horn of Africa country would not be appropriate for the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

The council mandated the African Union mission to take all measures, as appropriate; to reduce the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups and provide security to facilitate the political process at all levels, enabling the gradual handover of security responsibilities to Somalia’s security forces.

Council members stated that progress in degrading Al-Shabaab’s capacity to launch attacks, as well as improving the capacity of Somali forces to sustain control of recaptured areas, could enable a gradual reduction of AMISOM’s role in the country.

Under a unanimously adopted resolution, the council maintained AMISOM’s troop deployment at a maximum level of 22,126 troops.

Uganda remains the biggest contributor to AMISOM with the largest contingent of 6,223 troops. Burundi is the second-largest contributor to AMISOM, with 5,432 troops.

The council requested that the mission strengthens its presence in all capitals of Interim Regional Administrations in order to improve joint planning between military and civilian components in preparation for the electoral process in 2016.

AMISOM was also tasked to secure key supply routes, including to areas recovered from Al-Shabaab, in particular those essential to improving the humanitarian situation, and those critical for AMISOM’s logistical support.

The resolution also calls on the African Union to investigate and report allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, as well as continuing to ensure the highest standards of transparency, and conduct and discipline.