What's In Blue

Posted Thu 15 Sep 2011

AU Mission in Somalia Resolution

It appears that adoption of the resolution to renew the authorisation of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), scheduled for tomorrow (16 September), has been postponed following a formal request from the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC). It seems that negotiations are likely to only resume in the last week of September.

In a communiqué issued on 13 September, the PSC explicitly asked the Council to delay the adoption of the AMISOM resolution until after the mini-summit on Somalia planned for 23 September on the margins of the General Assembly. More specifically, the PSC requested the Council “to consider further inputs and updates on the situation before the adoption of its resolution on Somalia, including by thoroughly engaging with the AU and giving due consideration to the requests and other elements contained in the present communiqué…as well as by taking into account the conclusions of the planned mini-summit on Somalia”.

It seems there had been some tension earlier over the timing of the adoption. Some African Council members felt that the Council should wait for the outcome of the PSC meeting before starting negotiations in order to fully take into account the AU position on the AMISOM renewal, particularly since the mission is mandated by the AU. Other countries, including the UK, who is the lead country on Somalia in the Council, seemed keen to have the resolution adopted before the start of the high-level segment of the General Assembly on 20 September. As a result, negotiations on a draft circulated on 9 September were held on Monday, 12 September, ahead of the PSC meeting. The assumption appeared to be that the AU position was well known and could be conveyed by the African Council members during negotiations. However, with the formal request from the PSC, it appears that it is more difficult to push for adoption this week.

It appears also that South Africa has proposed substantive amendments to the draft resolution reflecting requests contained in the PSC communiqué. These apparently include further enhancement of the UN support package for AMISOM well beyond what was proposed in the original draft and the creation of a battalion size guard force of 850 troops, instead of the 300 proposed by the UK, to be added to the currently authorised level of 12,000 troops.

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