Black Affairs, Africa and Development

UN extends mandate of peacekeeping force in Somalia

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The mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) which was to expire on Thursday has been extended by a year by the United Nations Security Council.

The 15-member committee passed a resolution on Wednesday that gives a lifeline to the regional peace keeping force mandated to support the Somalia government.

The new Security Council Resolution 2093 (2013) is aimed at strengthening the newly elected federal government of Somalia headed by Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon in its efforts to stabilise the country and foster political dialogue and reconciliation.

“The Security Council decides to authorise the Member States of the African Union (AU) to maintain the deployment of AMISOM until 28 February 2014,” reads the resolution.

“In coordination with the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia, reduce the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups, including receiving, on a transitory basis, defectors, as appropriate, and in coordination with the United Nations, in order to establish conditions for effective and legitimate governance across Somalia,” said the UN Security Statement.

The 17,709-strong force draws troops from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti and Kenya and mandated to conduct peace support operations in Somalia, stabilise the situation in the country and prepare it for civilian rule.

Amisom was created by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council in January 2007 with an initial six month mandate and has frequently had it mandate renewed by the UN Security Council.

Uganda accounts for a third of the military component with 6,223 troops followed by Burundi which has 5,432 soldiers in the peace keeping mission.

Kenyan military troops had moved into Somalia in 2011 and 4,652 rehatted to join Amisom last year. There are a further 960 troops from Djibouti.

The European Union (EU), which provides the resources needed for the payment of troop allowances for the mission, has set aside Sh7.9 billion (€ 70 million) to cover remuneration payments for the first five months of this year.

THE EASTAFRICAN

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