UN-AU joint team in Somalia for review ahead of 2019 AMISOM deadline

MOGADISHU—Teams from the United Nation and the African Union have started assessment of the AMISOM forces in Somalia since 2007 when they came.

Led by officials from the UN Security Council and the African Union, the team said they would make recommendations on the vacation of the forces at the end of the visit.

“There were some mandates issued by the two councils (UN and AU) to be undertaken by this Mission. The joint review will definitely be looking at those mandates and also focus on the Somalia Transition Plan,” said Maj. Gen. Francis Okello, the Chief, Plans and Operations Unit in the AU’s Peace Operations Support Division.

UN Resolution 2431 (2018), authorized the reduction of uniformed AMISOM personnel, by 1000, by the end of February, this year. The resolution also mandated AMISOM to maintain a minimum of 1040 police personnel including five formed police units.

The Communique, on the hand, called for an assessment to be carried out on the state and effectiveness of AMISOM reconfiguration and its support to the transition process. It also sanctioned the development of a new Concept of Operations (CONOPS) aligned with the implementation of the transition plan.

Maj. Gen. Okello, who is leading the AU delegation, said the outcome of the review would inform the decisions to be made by the UN Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on the renewal of AMISOM’s mandate.

His remarks were echoed by the Team Leader of the UN delegates, Vincent Pasquini, who said the review would look into issues of transition planning, electoral preparations and the operating environment in Somalia.

“The objective of this meeting is really to hear the views of our partners as we set off in this review and to have as many inputs as possible,” said Mr. Pasquini, the Team Leader to Somalia in the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and the Department of Peace Operations (DPO).

The visiting team will also probe the challenges faced by the forces in Somalia.

The UN Security Council has given AMISOM until May next year to leave the country and hand over security to the local army.