AMISOM Plans Exit Strategy In Somalia

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has said it will begin a drawdown of its forces and operations in the country by 2018. This is to enable the Somali National Security Forces take control and responsibility for the security of the country.

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission in Somalia (SRCC), Ambassador Francisco Madiera who spoke to The Nation in Mogadishu said AMISOM has begun the process of empowering the Somali National Security Forces to enable them to take over from AMISOM troops.

Madiera: “There is urgency in empowering the Somali National Security Forces, the war can succeed if they are empowered to take over. But we won’t leave this place in the same way it as before we came in but we have to do it in a speedy way.”

The Special Representative said AMISOM must find out what is impeding the Somali security forces from taking charge of their country and solve the problem.” We have started talking to all our partners to see what can be done, we realised that by 2018, we should have a Somali National Security Forces that is capable of taking over,” he said.

But Maidera said 2018 will not be the year when AMISOM will totally withdraw from Somalia but will begin a systematic withdrawal. “We want to see if the Somalia forces have acquired the training, mobility to take over duties, decimate Al-Shabaab and eliminate the terrorists’ capacity.”

The Ambassador said to accomplish this task, the AMISOM will have to increase its Intelligence gathering and surveillance. He said the African Union mission must also increase its logistic support to the Somali government.

Somalia is in the process of conducting its first democratic elections in 25 years since a bloody civil war began in the horn of Africa.  AMISOM is hoping the election will usher in a period of relative stability and peace.

But in an unusual election, only 14,025 delegates selected by heads of clans will elect members of the Parliament who in turn will elect the president on November 30, 2016. Already, 54 members of the upper house have been selected while the process to select 275 members of the lower house is ongoing.

Nigeria currently has 140 Front Police Unit (FPU) and about 30 Individual Police Unit (IPU) who are deeply involved in providing security and logistics for the elections. The head of the Nigerian mobile police, Theophilus Eze, a Superintendent of Police said the Nigeria Mobile police are ready.

“We are prepared for this election, as you can see we have everywhere in Mogadishu covered and our men and women are working hard to ensure adequate security is provided for the elections,” he said.

Source: The Nation, Nigeria

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