Sunday May 15, 2016
By Philip Mwakio
A communiqué posted on Amisom Dail Media Monitoring and seen by The Standard on Sunday, states that the decision made public on Wednesday, means the 22,000 strong peacekeeping force set up to combat Islamist militant group Al Shabab, will remain in the troubled country for at least another 12 months. The AU reached the decision during the recent 595th meeting of its peace and Security Council.
The African Union (AU) has extended its Amisom mission in Somalia to May 30, 2017.
The body, however, expressed regret at the decision by the European Union (EU) to cut back its allowance to Amisom by 20 per cent during what it says is a critical phase.
The continental body has thus called on the EU to reconsider its decision ahead of the upcoming elections in Somalia. Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda have also been called upon to respect their pledges to deploy air assets for Amisom operations.
Amisom and the Somali National Army’s consolidation and expansion operations across Somalia have been lauded, although it has been observed that the terror group still remains a threat to peace, security and stability.
Meanwhile, Amisom African peacekeepers and Somali government forces killed nine Al Shabab fighters in two separate incidents last Thursday.
In the first incident, the troops attacked an illegal checkpoint near Sabiid in Afgoye town, 25 kilometres, northwest of the capital, Mogadishu, killing five insurgents, Amisom said in a statement on Twitter.
In the second operation, four Al Shabab militants were killed during a raid on an illegal police station and taxation center near Beled Amiin, it said.
“In collaboration with the Federal Government of Somalia, Amisom will continue to degrade the militant group and allow the people of Somalia to enjoy peace and security,” the mission said.
Al Shabab has waged an insurgency in Somalia since 2006 in a bid to impose a strict version of Islamic law.