The African Union is currently facing financial challenges in the operations of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), African Union Commission (AUC) Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha said Friday.
Mwencha observed that the situation has been caused by the over-reliance of funding from the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN).
“We are in this quagmire because the UN funding is not predictable whereas the EU is currently going through reforms and has cut their support by 20 percent,” Mwencha said at a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He said that the continental organization is working on modalities of closing the gap to help sustain peace operations in Somali.
The EU, together with the UN, is the main donor to AMISOM, which is composed of troops seconded from the military forces of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Burundi.
The AU has been sending task forces to Somalia for the last nine years to combat Al-Qaida’s affiliate group in the country, Al-Shabaab, in an attempt to liberate the region.
These AMISOM soldiers are paid by their national governments, which received 1.08 billion euros in stipends and allowances from the EU’s African Peace Facility (APF) since March 2007.
The war in Somalia costs the governments behind the mission 45 million U.S. dollars a month and currently, 22,000 troops are deployed there under the mandate of AMISOM.
Before cutting the support, the EU has made lots of effort to cope with AMISOM’s increasing demands.
The financial needs of AMISOM had been increasing since the APF’s initial budget of 750 million euros for 2014-2020 was increased to 900 million euros by the EU. There was still an additional 710 million euros required to fund these further needs until the end of 2018. (1 euro=1.0700 U.S. dollars).