AMISOM Withdrawal from Somalia Inevitable But Not Yet, US General Hints

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Sunday September 10, 2017 - 12:01:05 in Latest News by
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    AMISOM Withdrawal from Somalia Inevitable But Not Yet, US General Hints

    STUTTGART, Germany (Somali Update Online) — Almost ten years since when the African Union Mission forces (AMISOM) moved into Somalia, there is now growing debate on the time frame of the mission's exit.

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The 22,000 strong regional peacekeeping force is supported by the United Nations.
STUTTGART, Germany (Somali Update Online) — Almost ten years since when the African Union Mission forces (AMISOM) moved into Somalia, there is now growing debate on the time frame of the mission's exit.
The 22,000 strong regional peacekeeping force is supported by the United Nations.
General Thomas Waldhauser of the United States Marines, a key ally of AMISOM involvement in Somalia, says that ultimately the African Union forces will withdraw from Somalia, but it is not yet time.
He recommends a tactical withdrawal and says this should happen when the Somalia National Army is well equipped and big enough in terms of personnel to take on Al-Shabaab terrorist group on its own.
Speaking at US Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, he said: "In AMISOM, there has been discussion on departure and, at some point, it is going to be inevitable.
"After the London conference, one of the things that came out is that you can’t simply walk away, or fall out.
"There needs to be a type of transition. Troop-contributing countries can’t stay there forever.
"President [Mohaned Abdullahi] Farmajo needs to make sure that the Somalia national army is ready for that.”
SECURITY REFORM
The London Conference on Somalia, which General Waldhauser referred to, was hosted by the United Kingdom and attended by world and regional leaders including the AMISOM troop-contributing countries i.e Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Burundi.
The conference discussed accelerated progress on security sector reform, humanitarian crisis in Somalia and "international partnerships needed to keep Somalia on course for increased peace and prosperity by 2020”.
That is the year the African forces are supposed to pull out of Somalia after the end of the AMISOM mission mandate.
This is one of the challenges AMISOM is facing in Somalia.
He said: "Nobody expects AMISOM to stay there forever. Somalia National Defence Forces are expected to pick the ball and make it as seamless as possible.
"President Farmajo said he has challenges. He is well aware and obviously he’s training and equipping the Somalia army.”
He went on: "At the London conference, he laid out the overall Somalia security architecture. It is a very good start.
"To the United States, we have people there to train, assist and accompany. We have a number of other states that are also part of the effort.
"One other big challenge is to pull together all the effort of all the countries involved in the training, because some train at the institutional level, and some at the tactical level.
"The challenge we have is to synchronise all the efforts to head in the same direction”

- Source: Somali Update Online and the Nation -



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