NEW YORK, AUGUST 30 – The United Nations Security Council renewed the decade-old mission AMISON in Somalia until the end of next May. The renewal makes some changes that reflect efforts to start handing over security responsibilities to Somali forces. The African Union’s multinational peacekeeping force is shrinking slightly by the end of the year as it heads toward planned withdrawal from the country by 2020.
AMISOM will be trimmed by 500 units from the current 22,000 by the end of this year. It will cut 1,000 more troops by the end of October 2018 or possibly sooner.
Italy sponsored the resolution. “AMISOM has been doing a tremendous job these years. We wish to commend the African Union and the Troops and Police Contributing Countries for their efforts and the high price of human lives they have paid for this cause”, the Italian permanent representative to the UN Sebastiano Cardi told the Council.
Stressing that new framework following the many progress made in the last month by the Somali government will require some time to operationalize, Cardi said that the decision taken by the Council to defer to October 2018 its consideration on the further steps of the mission’s transition process is wise. “As the threat posed by Al-Shabaab remains serious, the need to build up the Somali Security Forces in a prompt and effective manner retains all its strategic significance”, he said, adding that Italy is looking forward to further discussing this and other relevant matters relating to Somalia, “a country we will continue to be strongly committed to, during the joint session that the Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council will hold in Addis Ababa next week”. (@OnuItalia)