Joint AU- UN mission urges delay in deployment of UN forces in Somalia

The Joint African Union and United Nations Mission has decided that conditions are not yet met for the deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation in Somalia.

The decision was announced in Addis Ababa on Tuesday at the 15th meeting of the Military Operations Coordination Committee which is established by the African Union to facilitate the implementation of the military and security aspects of the mandate of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The meeting, which was chaired by the AU Commissioner for Peace Security, Smaà¯l Chergui, was attended by the chiefs of defense staff and other senior military officers of the AMISOM Troop Contributing Countries namely Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda and Somalia, the AMISOM leadership, as well as the representatives of partner countries and institutions mainly the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the European Union and the United Nations

The Joint Mission, while acknowledging the tremendous progress made on the ground, also highlighted the many remaining challenges including the continued ability of the Al Shabaab terrorist group to disrupt the ongoing political process, through attacks against the Federal Government of Somalia and its security forces, as well as against AMISOM, the UN and civilians.

The Joint Mission made a number of recommendations aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of AMISOM, including the extension of the surge in AMISOM strength and of the non-lethal support package to the Somali National Army (SNA), which were both authorized by the UN Security Council in a resolution.

The statement added that the meeting provided an opportunity for the MOCC to exchange views on the situation in Somalia, as well as on the findings and recommendations of the Joint Mission.

The participants agreed on the urgency of the measures proposed towards streamlining the AMISOM command and control, reconfiguring the Mission’s forces, facilitating cross-sector operations and enhancing logistical support.

The members of the MOCC also agreed to actively contribute to the follow-up process. While expressing appreciation to the international partners for the assistance extended so far to AMISOM and the SNA, the participants called for an enhanced support. In this respect, they looked forward to further interaction with the partners.

Source: Star Africa News