The African Union Mission to Somalia’s time is drawing to a close. It’s scheduled to exit in December 2021, after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) extended the 28 February mandate deadline. But instead of making preparations to leave, the growing political and security problems in Somalia have seen the focus shift to what AMISOM’s continued role in the country should be.
A successful withdrawal in December depends on political stability in Somalia, but can and should AMISOM play a role in this area? And whatever its mandate may be, the perennial problem of how to fund an extended mission remains unresolved.
AMISOM has provided support to Somalia’s government since 2007, mainly in fighting al-Shabaab and other extremist groups. It has also helped build the capacity of Somalia’s security institutions, including the Somali National Army and the Somali Police Forces.
According to the 2017 Somalia Transitional Plan, endorsed by the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the UNSC, three types of priorities must be fulfilled before AMISOM’s departure. These are operational activities, institutional capacity building, and supporting activities – which include material and logistical support to Somlia’s security forces.