NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – It was a theme on his visit. Again and again he called on the international community to up their support for the African Union Mission in Somalia.
His zeal informed by his trip to Somalia – one of which was only yesterday – when he saw for himself, in his estimation, just how dire the need for said support is, given the stakes.
“My belief is that AMISOM is under equipped in relation to the needs. I’ve visited Somalia many times in my past capacity (as UN High Commissioner for Refugees) and I must say I gained enormous admiration for the soldiers of AMISOM that were dying with equipment that reminded me sometimes of the equipment Portuguese had decades ago when I was related to the Portuguese army. The Portuguese army is probably not one of the most modern in the world as you can imagine. No night vision equipment, at a time I remember there were no helicopters available in Mogadishu, the capacity of mobility was very, very limited, so it’s clear, AMISOM has been doing remarkable work in very precarious conditions,” António Guterres said at a press briefing at the United Nations Office in Nairobi on Wednesday.
He therefore called, as the UN Secretary General, for the mission to at least be partially funded through assessed contributions from the international community.
“In other peace enforcing missions that took place in the world the peace enforcing was outsourced to NATO in the Balkans and to AMISOM in Somalia but based on resolutions of the Security Council in the case of Somalia and so it’s my belief that there is a responsibility of the international community to fund AMISOM and ideally it should not be with voluntary contributions so I’m not here to criticise the European Union. I’m here to appeal to the international community as a whole to assume that responsibility and in my opinion, I’m giving you a personal opinion, this is something I will be ready to affirm to the Security Council, I believe operations like this should be at least partially funded with assessed contributions.”
It’s an agenda President Uhuru Kenyatta has championed zealously in response to a 20 per cent cut in funding to the mission by the European Union and one that informed his meeting with the UN Secretary General during the 28th African Union Summit held at the end of January in Addis Ababa.