AU, Somalia hold talks on mission assistance beyond 2021

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The African Union (AU) and Somalia have held talks on the likely configuration and proposed mandate of the AU’s support to the country beyond December 2021, officials said on Tuesday.

Fiona Lortan, AU’s Acting Director of Conflict Management Directorate, Political Affairs, Peace and Security said talks between the two parties would continue into the future with a focus on consolidating the security gains made by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) over the years.

“We will continue our discussions, but for now we have got at least some broad understanding of what we need to do and how we need to work together and partner with each other,” she said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

Lortan said they have been discussing what will replace AMISOM come January 2022 since the mandate of the AU mission will end this year.

“We know that there is still a need for some sort of security presence from the African Union to assist the Somalia government in the next few years while it builds up its forces. And so, we have been discussing what the new mission should look like, and what the mandate of the new mission will be,” Lortan added.

The United Nations Security Council in March adopted a resolution reauthorizing the AMISOM until Dec. 31 and maintaining its overall 19,626 uniformed personnel level ahead of the phased handover of responsibilities to Somali security forces, planned for later in 2021.

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