The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is in need of 9,000 more army soldiers to bolster peacekeeping and stabilization operations in Somalia.
AMISOM now seeks the additional troops from member states as fight against the Islamist Al-Shabaab insurgency intensifies.
At a recent meeting while addressing delegates in Mogadishu, Somalia Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Ambassador Francisco Madeira confirmed fears of the viability of AMISOM saying it was under threat from lack of financial and logistical support. He remarks comes after threats from Burundi saying it might withdrawal troops over unpaid salaries by the European Union (EU).
Ambassador Madeira also cited the exit of up to 10,000 by the end of 2017 as a real threat to the mission.
In this regard, Madeira pointed out the reason to complete the training, equipping and deployment of 20,000-member strong Somali National Army (SNA) before AMISOM starts a phased withdrawal from the country next year.
“But we need to have at least 20 000 SNA soldiers to ensure the country’s security equipped ahead of the AMISOM exit. That is exactly where the problem is,” Madeira said.
Among AU-member states only Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi and Djibouti have contrinuted army soldiers to the Somalia peace keeping mission–AMISOM