GOOBJOOG NEWS|ADDIS ABABA: A joint African Union and UN force should take over from AMISOM at the end of this year and wind up operations in Somalia by 2026, a team of independent experts appointed by the African Union has proposed.
The proposal has also been adopted by the Somalia Operations Coordination Committee (SOCC), which brings together the Peace and Security Council components, army and police chiefs, Troops and Police Contributing Countries.
The AU-UN Multidimensional Stabilisation Mission (AU-UNMISS) which was adopted out of four options envisages the deployment of forces to Somalia under Chapter VI of the UN Charter. The force shall be led by Joint Special Representative appointed in consultation between the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the UN Security Council.
Chapter VI of the UN Charter empowers the Security Council to ‘determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” and to take military and nonmilitary action to “restore international peace and security.
“A nucleus of the security components will be constituted by the contingents currently serving in AMISOM, subject to the assessment of their capabilities and augmented as necessary to respond to the new realities such as the opening of new sectors,” the report says in what might not sit down well with Somali government which has opposed the presence of neighbouring countries in the force.
In fact, the Federal Government has indicated opposition to the report. “In response to AU Independent Assessment Team’s Report, the Somali Government held an inter-ministerial meeting to discuss the report and has rejected from the outset the report’s finding and recommendations and will issue a formal statement,” government spokesman Mohamed Moalimuu said in a tweet upon the report’s public appearance this past week.
The choice of the AU-UN model, the Independent Experts led by Major General Xolani Mankayi of the South African National Defence Force said was informed by the need to address challenges facing AMISOM such as sustainable financing, inadequate logistics, command and control issues, remuneration of staff, troops and police, manpower and staff shortages, and force generation for the mission.
The reconfigured mission, the report observes will take a comprehensive multidimensional approach, beyond the security and stabilisation process, to include Political affairs, Civil affairs, Human rights, Child protection and protection of vulnerable groups affairs, and Humanitarian assistance.
Unlike the current AU Mission (AMISOM), the hybrid force will have more police officers than the military. The experts propose 50% of formed police units, 30% military and 15% international civilian staff.
The new force will also have a Rapid Strike Force (RSF), and intervention Brigades tailored to the specific operational requirements of the Somalia environment.