Foreign Policy Blogs

AU Mission in Somalia Gets Boost

As African Union peacekeepers continue to come under attack in Somalia, the mission there, known as AMISOM, received two pieces of good news this week.

First off, Uganda and Burundi, offered to send 4,000 more troops to the mission.  The two countries account for a majority of what will now be a 12,000-strong force aimed at pushing back Islamist-led insurgents which aims to unseat the fragile, hardly visible Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu.

Another boost came from a European Union announcement that it would provide another $93 million to the mission.  The EU has provided $208 million in funding to AMISOM since 2007, despite the fact that many observers have little faith in the ability for the mission to succeed.  The funds, it seems are aimed more at maintaining the status quo than making any real gains.

“AMISOM does a vital job in Somalia, ensuring that human rights are respected, citizens are protected and internally displaced persons and refugees can return home in safety and dignity,” the EU’s Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said, according to the German Press Agency.

AMISOM was authorized by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council in 2007, and is periodically approved by the United Nations Security Council.   While some have urged the UN to take over the mission, the world body has so-far refused  – though Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said a peacekeeping mission could emerge under the right conditions.

 

Author

Robert Nolan
Robert Nolan

Robert Nolan is Editor-in-Chief of New Media at the Foreign Policy Association and a writer and producer of the Great Decisions Television Series on PBS. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Zimbabwe and graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, he has interviewed numerous heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, artists and musicians, and policymakers.

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