The AU Peace and Security Council endorsed the recommendation for increasing the level of AMISOM personnel by 5,000, so as to include Djibouti forces, re-hatted Kenyan troops and an AMISOM police component. It also endorsed the deployment of extra Burundi and Uganda troops to reach the current UN-authorized AMISOM strength of 12,000.
The recommendation was made by Defence ministers and Chiefs of Staff from the AMISOM troop-contributing countries who met in Addis Ababa last Wednesday.
However, Ethiopian troops, which entered Somalia last week, will support AMISOM without being part of it, according to the news by Bloomberg’s William Davison. He reported on January 6 that:
Ethiopian troops, which entered Somalia last week, will support Amisom without being part of it, government spokesman Bereket Simon said on Jan. 3. Ethiopian soldiers helped forces from Somalia’s Western-backed Transitional Federal Government capture the town of Beledweyne, Bereket said. Amisom troops would be sent to areas secured by Ethiopia, according to the AU.
Read below report from A Week in the Horn of Africa – Jan. 6, 2012 issue.
The AU Peace and Security Council endorses increases in AMISOM
Regional Defence ministers and Chiefs of Staff from the AMISOM troop-contributing countries have been meeting in Addis Ababa on Wednesday this week to plan strategy for operations against Al-Shabaab, and on Thursday, the African Union Peace and Security Council held a meeting to consider their recommendations. These included adoption of the draft Strategic Concept produced last month as the basis for enhancing the strength of AMISOM and consolidating, coordinating and furthering the gains already made. Another recommendation was to secure the support of the UN Security Council to raise AMISOM’s strength to over 17,000 troops to include 5,700 additional troops made up of re-hatted Kenyan forces and Djiboutian troops. This would require force enablers and multipliers with enhanced TFG and allied Somali forces playing an increased role. AMISOM’s increase from the present 9,547 troops to the UN authorised 12,000 would be provided by Burundi and Uganda. The Chiefs of Defence Staff noted that in view of the urgency of stated intent of Ethiopia to withdraw from the liberated areas of Somalia, it was also critical to fast track the insertion of AMISOM troops into those areas. They also agreed to hold another meeting this month to discuss related issues before the next AU Summit and consider the anticipated outcome of the next UN Security Council meeting on the Strategic Concept.
The following day, the AU Peace and Security Council held its 306th meeting, and adopted the recommendations of the Ministers of Defence and Chiefs of Staff. The Council, chaired by the AU’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ramtane Lamamra, as expected endorsed the Strategic Concept as a planning tool and the call for increasing the level of UN-supported AMISOM personnel from 12,000 to 17,731, to include Djibouti forces, re-hatted Kenyan troops and an AMISOM police component. It endorsed the deployment of extra Burundi and Uganda troops to reach the current UN-authorized AMISOM strength of 12,000 with the understanding these additional troops would be used on the basis of needs in the liberated areas. It also backed the insertion of AMISOM troops into areas liberated with the support of Ethiopia because of Ethiopia’s stated intent to withdraw, and the extension of AMISOM’s area of responsibility by fast-tracking its insertion into all liberated areas. It also called for the provision of the required force enablers and multipliers and other logistical support, and the enhancement of TFG and allied forces.
The Peace and Security Council also urged the UN Security Council to expeditiously consider and authorize support for immediate implementation of the Strategic Concept, and requested the Commission to accelerate preparation and consultations for the necessary planning requirements, including a new AMISOM Concept of Operations. The Council appreciated the continuing support of the European Union in implementing the mandate of AMISOM and requested it to make available the necessary funds for payment of allowances for 17,731 troops. It also appealed to other AU partners to provide financial support for the implementation of the Strategic Concept. The Peace and Security Council welcomed the initiative of the UK to convene a special summit on Somalia in London on February 23rd. It also welcomed the progress made in constitution-making in the context of the recent Garowe conference and called on the leadership of the TFIs to urgently resolve the current crisis in the Transitional Federal Parliament. It reiterated the AU’s determination to take all necessary action against all spoilers, internal or external and renewed the mandate of AMISOM for another year with effect from January 16th. Another session of the Peace and Security Council is scheduled to be held next Monday, January 9th. After the meeting the AU Peace and Security Commissioner, Ramtane Lamamra, told journalists that he expected the UN Security Council to consider the proposed changes in a special session in the next few days.