AU deployment in Somalia extended


The UN Security Council has authorised the African Union to maintain the deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for an additional 10 months until May 30, 2016.

By the unanimously adopted text, the Council followed the Secretary-General’s recommendation that conditions would not be appropriate for a United Nations peacekeeping operation in the country until the end of 2016 at the earliest.

The Council also extended the mandate of the UN Special Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until March 30, 2016, underlining that both AMISOM and UNSOM strengthen their relationship to ensure support for the country’s political process.

Authorising the deployment of up to 22,126 uniformed personnel for AMISOM, the Council requested a “structured and targeted” reconfiguration of the Mission to enable a surge in its efficiency. And by the end of October this year the African Union should have developed, in collaboration with the UN, a “new concept of operations” for the Mission Council requested.

Underscoring the importance of UNSOM’s support to the political process in Somalia, in particular the preparation of the electoral process in 2016, the Security Council requested the Mission to strengthen its presence in all capitals of Interim Regional Administrations.

Deployment of civilian planning in regional capitals should also be a priority to improve joint planning between military and civilian components, said the resolution adopted.

On the national security front, Council welcomed the adoption of the Guulwade (Victory) Plan by the Federal Government of Somalia, a “critical step” towards developing a more effective national army. It also stressed the importance of accelerating improved co-ordination of Somali security institutions.

While it welcomed the Government’s commitment to an “inclusive and credible” electoral process in 2016, the Security Council also expressed concern at continued human rights violations in Somalia underscoring the need to end impunity for such crimes.