The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is an active, regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations. It was created by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on 19th January 2007 with an initial six month mandate. AMISOM replaced and subsumed the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Peace Support Mission to Somalia or IGASOM, which was a proposed Inter-Governmental Authority on Development protection and training mission in Somalia approved by the African Union in September 2006.IGASOM was also approved by the United Nations Security Council. AMISOM was created with an initial six month mandate though subsequent renewals of its mandate by the AU peace and Security Council have also been authorized by the UN Security Council. AMISOM’s objective is to see a Somalia at peace, a country where ordinary citizens can go about their daily lives in peace and security and where they can freely choose their leaders. In the short term, AMISOM will continue to support the Somali Federal Government as it prepares the country for a referendum on the national constitution and a general election by 2016.
The Non-Aligned Movement has commended the contribution of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to lasting peace and stability in Somalia, and expressed their appreciation for the continued commitment of troops by Troop and Police Contributing Countries to AMISOM, and called upon the members and the international community to provide resources for it to better fulfill its mandate. The Movement has stressed the the importance of reestablishing, training and retention of Somali security forces and welcomed the Secretary General’s proposal for a partnership between the Somali Government, the United Nations, AMISOM and other international partners to develop a program of assistance to rebuild Somali Security Forces. At the Algiers NAM Ministerial Summit 2014, NAM leaders stressed the importance of the development of the Somali security forces and institutions to ensure Somalia’s long-term security and stability and call upon the international community in coordination with the UN and AMISOM to provide increased support to the Somali Government security and justice sectors.
NAM has also commended the AU Member States, most of them also NAM Member States, for having provided financial and logistical support to AMISOM. AMISOM staff comes from a wide range of nations across Africa. The Force Headquarters of the military component, for example, is staffed by officers from Burundi, Cameroon, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia. The bulk of its troops though come from six countries: Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. The strength of AMISOM uniformed personnel stands now at 22,126. This includes both troops and police. Along with the current Force Headquarters staff of 81, the military component has 5,432 troops from Burundi, 1000 troops from Djibouti, 3,664 from Kenya, 850 Sierra Leone, Ethiopia 4,395 and 6,223 troops from Uganda. The police component is comprised in three categories which include Professionals/ Senior Leadership (SLT), Formed Police Unit (FPU) and Individual Police Officers (IPO’s). The IPO’s are from Burundi, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe while the FPU’s from Nigeria and Uganda each comprise of 140 officers. The IPO’s are deployed in all the AMISOM sectors.
NAM has highlighted need to maintain the current international momentum in support of the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia including efforts to addressing the country’s long-term reconstruction, economic, and social development. It may be mentioned here that AMISOM benefits from a UN logistical support package, bilateral donations, and voluntary contributions to UN managed Trust Fund in Support of AMISOM. The European Union (EU) provides the resources needed for the payment of troop allowances and other related expenses, within the framework of the African Peace Facility (APF). Equally and vitally, NAM has also called for the need to swiftly establish effective administration to stabilize the areas secured by AMISOM and the Somali Security forces. NAM’s support to AMISOM is thus a manifestation of the respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, consistent with the Charter of the United Nations.