UN Security Council Extends AMISOM Term

The United Nations Security Council on Friday passed a resolution extending AMISOM‘s term until the end of the year.

The resolution authorizes the nearly 20 thousand African Union forces to remain in Somalia until the end of the year, with the mandate to reduce the risk of militant groups to allow “stability, federalism, independence and unity of Somalia.”

The UNSC also urged the Somali government to hold elections “without delay,” a resolution highlighting the security threat posed by “Al-Shabab and armed opposition groups”.

The resolution states the goal was to hand over the security to the Somali government, with a plan for Somalia to take the lead in security operations by 2021 and take full responsibility for it by the end of 2023.

Council reaffirmed the importance of strengthening the capacity of the Somali army and institutions to deal with current and future threats, with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) authorized to assist in the transfer of security responsibilities to the Somali government.

The 13-page memorandum from the British government was voted by a majority, with all 15 members in favor.

African countries, including Kenya, Niger and Tunisia, have previously called for a postponement of the vote, arguing for funding for AMISOM, but it has apparently been rejected. Niger said in a statement that the British-led report did not reflect the will of African countries.

The ratification of the resolution comes amid increasing pressure on Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” after the February 8th elections were postponed due to a lack of agreement on how to conduct the elections.

Two regional states, Puntland and Jubaland, have said they will not be part of the elections unless their demands are considered.

Critics accuse the president, who is seeking a second four-year term, of postponing the election to extend his term. The president blamed the foreign interference which he did not mention.

The Security Council has expressed concern at the delay in completing the electoral process this year. Council members urged the federal and regional state governments to to organize free, fair, credible and inclusive elections, in line with the 17 September 2020 agreement and without further delay, and to finalize political agreement to that end”.

The Security Council welcomed the progress made by the Somali government but also underlined the immediate threat posed by “Al-Shabaab and armed opposition groups”