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Somalia: UN delays Amisom exit as Somalis push for a political deal

UNITED NATIONS, The mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) has been extended by two weeks from end of February to March 14 as the country’s leaders push for a political deal.

A unanimous decision reached by the Security Council said Amisom’s current mandate will expire on March 14, 2021, and not at the end of February as had earlier been decided last year.

The existence of the mission beyond March 14, the Council agreed, should depend on the political stability of Somalia. The extension of mandate means Somalia’s nascent army of about 13,000 has the much-needed back-up as political leaders seek to break an impasse that has delayed elections, causing anxiety in the capital Mogadishu.

‘’The Council decides to authorise the Member States of the African Union to maintain the deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) until March 14, 2021,” said resolution 2563/2021, endorsed by all the 15 members of the Council.

‘’The Council authorises Amisom to take all necessary measures in full compliance with participating states’ obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and in full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, to carry out its mandate.”

Amisom, created in 2007, was expected to start exiting the country from early March after the end of mandate in February, and all troops withdrawn by December. But the Council members agreed any successful withdrawal will be pegged on the political situation in the country, and a successful election. The withdrawal of peacekeepers will affect contingents of all troop-contributing countries.

Meanwhile, in the capital MOGADISHU, the Somalia government and opposition leaders brokered an agreement at an emergency meeting at Decale Airport Hotel as part of Prime Minister Hussein Roble’s efforts to cool tempers that have flared over the delayed elections in the country.

The opposition politicians cancelled a planned protest march in Mogadishu after Roble conceded to some of their demands, and formally expressed “regret” for the Feb 19 violence.

Roble said the government was sorry about the Feb 19 incident in which the police clashed with guards of the opposition presidential candidates. Several people were killed and dozens injured.

 

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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