AU backs Somalia’s troops withdrawal delay request

Addis-Ababa (Caasimada Online) – The African Union (AU) has thrown its weight behind Somalia’s appeal to the UN Security Council for a three-month tactical delay in reducing the number of international troops battling the Al-Shabab terror faction in central Somalia. 

This development comes amid growing military challenges in the country amid intense fighting between the national army and Al-Shabab militants.

Issued from Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, a statement from the African Union’s Peace and Security Council endorsing the postponement of the withdrawal of 3,000 uniformed personnel. 

The message echoes the union’s unwavering “solidarity with the people and the Federal Government of Somalia” in achieving lasting peace, security, stability, and prosperity that will elevate Somalia, the Horn of Africa, and the Continent. 

Furthermore, the council lauded the commitment shown by troop-contributing nations. Countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Djibouti, and Uganda in collaborating with Somalia and its partners to garner the financial backing necessary for this pivotal transition mission.

Financial support needed 

Abdirisak Aden, the executive director of the Farsight Africa Research and Policy Studies Center in Mogadishu, said that although the transition mission and AU’s leadership have decided to stop the withdrawal, it’s up to the African Union and global allies to finance it.  

“Somalia needs just a portion of US and EU funding to Ukraine to combat Al-Shabab,” Aden highlighted, drawing attention to the scale of the challenge. 

This proposed second-phase drawdown from the African Union intends to remove 3,000 peacekeepers from Somalia. The mission has already withdrawn over 2,000 peacekeepers from the nation.  

So, why this urgent call to the UN? Mogadishu’s appeal stems from the urgent need to tackle significant obstacles and the deep-seated implications for Somalia’s security transition.

An official letter from Somalia to the UN Security Council elucidated further. The unexpected events have thinned their military forces, highlighting vulnerabilities. It’s crucial to re-strategize to maintain momentum against the Al-Shabab threat. 

The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia has been operational since 2007. Sanctioned by the AU and mandated by the UN Security Council, its primary goal is to bolster the Somali government’s war against Al-Shabab, an entity linked with the Al Qaeda terror faction.