Kenya cautions against plans to withdraw Amisom from Somalia

Kenya has cautioned the African Union and the United Nations against any attempts to withdraw Amisom from Somalia.

This comes following a the 978th Session of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) convened to consider the situation in Somalia and the activities of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

In a statement on Tuesday, Nairobi said it welcomed the opportunity afforded by the PSC gathering to discuss and deliberate on matters of strategic importance in the Peace and Security architecture of the region.

According to the Statement, Kenya lauded the ongoing electioneering period in Somalia, which was a vital step in the long-term stability of Somalia and, by extension, the region.

“Likewise, Kenya called for the Peace and Security Council to focus on the vital initiatives that must be undertaken to ensure that the historical consensus built between Domestic, Regional and International actors in Somalia, which included the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and all its related entities, was secured and guaranteed,” read part of the statement.

Nairobi said as a result, it observed that the holding to account of the al-Shaabab terrorist grouping, its affiliates and other spoilers in Somalia as well as the renewal of the mandate of AMISOM is consistent with such calls.

“ Kenya also appealed to the Council to guard against attempts at driving fissures among the various stakeholders, friends and partners of Somalia and of the region. Attempts at lessening the positive impact of AMISOM or withdrawal of AMISOM from Somalia was viewed in this light,” it said.

While dismissing assertions of her interferences in the domestic polity of Somalia terming them false and misleading Kenya said her presence in Mogadishu was not only motivated by the need to strengthen regional peace and security architecture but was sanctioned by both the AU Peace and Security Council and by the UN Security Council.

Kenya’s destiny and that of Somalia are inextricably linked, given the historical, cultural and linguistic links that connected the countries of the region. To this end, Kenya pledged to continue playing its rightful role in Somalia alongside its Troop Contributing Countries’ partners,” the statement read in part.

Nairobi was represented by her Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the country’s Permanent Representative to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ambassador Jean Kamau.

This is barely a month after Kenya and Algeria called for the extension of Amisom mandate in Somalia.

In a joint communique between Kenya’s Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo and her Algeria counterpart Sabri Boukadoum, the two countries said Amisom has played a key role in pacifying Somalia and ridding the country of terror groups including the al-Shabaab.

The Ministers noted that Amisom continues to experience challenges especially in respect to predictable funding including lack of force multipliers and enablers.

“And in this regard, the ministers urged the United Nations to consider financing Amisom through UN assessed contributions,” read part of the communique seen by the Star.

The ministers also took note of the threat of Al-Shabab which remains potent and called on the AU and the UN to renew the mandate of Amisom, taking into account that sufficient capacity has not been built within the Somalia National Security services to take over the functions currently undertaken by Amisom troops.

Source: The Star