What's In Blue

Posted Wed 28 Sep 2011

AU Mission in Somalia Resolution

Tomorrow (29 September) the Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution that would re-authorise the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). It appears, however, that there is still no agreed text. A draft resolution was put under silence procedure last night, but this morning South Africa broke the silence on behalf of the African members of the Council.

It seems the main outstanding issue is AMISOM’s authorised troop level. As requested by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) in its 13 September communiqué, African members have proposed raising the troop ceiling beyond the current level of 12,000 in order to account for the establishment of a specialised guard force to protect international civilian personnel. It appears that some other Council members do not see this as necessary as AMISOM is still not fully deployed.

Following the PSC communiqué and subsequent postponement of the adoption of the AMISOM resolution (it was initially scheduled for 16 September), it appears that the UK, as the lead country on Somalia in the Council, held bilateral consultations with African Council members to try to resolve differences over the AU requests to the Council. (These included, among other things, expanding the AMISOM support package from UN assessed contributions beyond what was proposed in the initial draft resolution, raising the authorised troop level and supporting the establishment of a guard force and creation of formed police units under AMISOM command.)

Following these bilateral negotiations, it appears that some revisions were made to satisfy AU concerns, including language supporting the creation of an AMISOM police component and more flexible language on the size of the guard force.

With regard to the AMISOM support package, African Council members seem to have accepted that a further expansion at this stage beyond what had already been proposed was not a realistic option.

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