President Kenyatta calls for increased funding to Somalia mission

February 28, 2016 8:59 pm
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The President said for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to achieve the strategic objective of stabilizing the country, there is need to increase the force’s land, air and maritime capabilities and equipment/PSCU
The President said for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to achieve the strategic objective of stabilizing the country, there is need to increase the force’s land, air and maritime capabilities and equipment/PSCU

, DJIBOUTI, Feb 28 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on the international community to allocate adequate resources to the military operations in Somalia.

The President said for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to achieve the strategic objective of stabilizing the country, there is need to increase the force’s land, air and maritime capabilities and equipment.

Overview
  • The President spoke Sunday in Djibouti during the Heads of State and Government Summit of countries contributing troops and police to AMISOM.
  • President Kenyatta said AMISOM lacks the requisite force multipliers to effectively deliver on its mandate.

The President spoke Sunday in Djibouti during the Heads of State and Government Summit of countries contributing troops and police to AMISOM.

President Kenyatta said AMISOM lacks the requisite force multipliers to effectively deliver on its mandate.

He regretted that the 12 military helicopters authorized by the UN Security council in 2012 are yet to be deployed.

“Denying a mission like AMISOM these capabilities is not only unacceptable, but untenable,” said the President.

He expressed disappointment at the international community’s failure to live up to its obligation having also forgotten that the African Union is in Somali on behalf of the United Nations.

“Whereas the continent is footing the bill of stabilizing Somalia by blood and flesh, it is disheartening that the international community is even contemplating to reduce support to AMISOM,” said the President.

He said that the primary mandate of promoting international peace and security world over including Somalia, still remains with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The President called on the AMISOM leaders to reject insinuations that the African Union meet the cost of the military mission in Somalia.

“At the minimum, the continent should demand that AMISOM’s funding be drawn from the UN assessed Contributions,” said President Kenyatta.

He urged African leaders to prepare proposals for submission to the United Nations regarding the future of AMISOM, especially post-August 2016.

“Interaction must focus attention on whether the mandate of AMISOM as currently provided can deal with the today’s threat dynamics. Our assessment in Kenya suggests not,” President Kenyatta said.

The President cited various challenges facing AMISOM troops that reduced the efficiency and effectiveness of mission. He stressed the urgent need for the mission to immediately deploy troops in all designated areas.

Deployment, the President added, could be effected through a re-organization of the current posture or a troops surge to enable the establishment of an effective presence that guarantees sustenance of AMISOM’s current success on the ground, and further liberation of areas under the terrorists.

“As a matter of urgency, AMISOM must quickly deploy troops in Gedo region in Sector 3,” said the President. Part of the Kenyan contingent of AMISOM is at El Adde camp in the region recently attacked by Al Shabaab.

Other challenges facing AMISOM include recommendations by the Joint AU-UN benchmarking exercise conducted on April 14-25, 2016, to replace military forces with Police Formed Units.

He said while the importance of policing functions in the attainment of AMISOM’s broad mandate cannot be ignored, such role will not be achieved through a military drawdown.

The President shared Kenya’s own internal review that points to the need for a surge of both military and police units within the shortest time possible, preferably before the 2016 election in Somalia.

President Kenyatta proposed the suspension of the implementation of the recommendations of the Joint AU-UN Benchmarking exercise and a comprehensive review of the Concept of Operations is conducted instead.

Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and host Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh said the Somali National Army and the police need to be properly coordinated to ensure security and stability.

They thanked AMISOM member countries, AU and UN for being steadfast in undertaking measures aimed at increasing resource to completely degrade Al Shabaab.

The African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui thanked the troop contributing countries for their commitment saying their efforts are not in vain.

He said Sunday’s summit gave leaders of the countries involved an opportunity to revitalize AMISOM’s mission.

“We need to promote mobility of AMISOM forces. This will increase pressure on Al-Shabaab militants and strengthen the Government of Somalia,” Chergui.

Leaders further called on the Somalia leaders to strengthen reconciliation process which is key in stabilizing their country.

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