African Union Mission to Somalia

African Union Mission to Somalia

Infobox War Faction
name= African Union Mission to Somalia
war= the Somali Civil War


caption=
leaders= General Levi Karuhanga
clans=
active= February 2007 –
headquarters= Mogadishu
area= Central and southern Somalia
previous=
next=
allies= Transitional Federal Government
opponents=N/A
The African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) is an active, regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations. AMISOM is mandated to support transitional governmental structures, implement a national security plan, train the Somali security forces, and to assist in creating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid.UN document |docid=S-RES-1772(2007) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2007 |resolution_number=1772 |page=3 |accessdate=2008-03-13]

It was created by the African Union's Peace and Security Council on 19 January 2007 with an initial six month mandate.cite news |title=69th meeting of the peace and Security Council|url=http://www.apanews.net/article.php3?id_article=19420
date=2007-01-22|publisher=Agence de Presse Africaine|accessdate=2007-02-09
] On 21 February, 2007 the United Nations Security Council approved the mission's mandate.UN document |docid=S-RES-1744(2007) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2007 |resolution_number=1744 |accessdate=2008-03-13] Subsequent six-monthly renewals of AMISOM's mandate by the African Union Peace and Security Council have also been authorised by the United Nations Security CouncilUN document |docid=S-RES-1772(2007) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2007 |resolution_number=1772 |accessdate=2008-03-13] UN document |docid=S-RES-1801(2008) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2008 |resolution_number=1801 |accessdate=2008-03-13] .

AMISOM's current mandate expires in August 2008,UN document |docid=S-RES-1831(2008) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2008 |resolution_number=1831 |accessdate=2008-08-21] having been extended following a report on the situation by the United Nations Secretary General.UN document |docid=S-PV-5942 |date=23 July 2008 |type=Verbatim Report |body=Security Council |meeting=5942 |accessdate=2008-08-21]

Origin of the mission

AMISOM replaced and subsumed the IGAD Peace Support Mission to Somalia or IGASOM, which was a proposed Intergovernmental Authority on Development protection and training mission to Somalia approved by the African Union on September 14, 2006. [ [http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/2e06722a1a1ba530d77bcf352c87ebd6.htm "African Union endorses regional peace plan"] , "Reuters", September 14, 2006] IGASOM was also approved by the United Nations Security Council on December 6, 2006UN document |docid=S-RES-1725(2006) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2006 |resolution_number=1725 |accessdate=2008-03-13] .

IGASOM was originally proposed for immediate implementation in March 2005 to provide peacekeeping forces for the latest phase of the Somali Civil War. [ [http://www.newsfromafrica.org/newsfromafrica/articles/art_10145.html "IGAD to deploy peacekeepers despite opposition by faction leaders"] , "IRIN", March 16, 2005]

At that time, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) had not yet taken control of Mogadishu, and most hopes for national unity lay with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) which had organized in Nairobi, Kenya in 2004 and were planning to established a provisional capital in Baidoa, Bay region, Somalia.

By May 2006, the situation was radically different, as the ICU had recently engaged the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism or ARPCT and was fighting for control of Mogadishu in the Second Battle of Mogadishu. By June, they had established control of the capital. Fighting began to spread to other parts of the nation as the UIC gained ground.

Plans for IGASOM continued, though by July there were indications of opposition from the ICU, who saw the initiative as a US-backed, Western means to curb the growth of their Islamic movement. [http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/site/c.glKWLeMTIsG/b.1816671/k.B3AC/July_2006BRSomalia.htm Security Council Report: July 2006: Somalia] Security Council Report]

Until December 2006, the UN Security Council had imposed an arms embargo on the group, [ [http://www.un.org/webcast/ga/61/pdfs/uganda-e.pdf Sam Kutesa: We call on the Security Coucil to lift the arms embargo to enable deployment of IGASOM and AU Forces."] ] but the embargo was partially lifted and a mandate for IGASOM issued on 6 December, 2006 for six months. [http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-somalia7dec07,1,5006337.story?coll=la-headlines-world]

On 21 February, 2007, the United Nations Security Council authorised the African Union to deploy a peacekeeping mission with a mandate of six months . In March 2007, Ugandan military officials arrived on the ground in Somalia. [ [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070301/ap_on_re_af/somalia] ] . On 20 August, 2007, the United Nations Security Council extended the African Union's authorisation to continue deploying AMISOM for a further six months and requested the Secretary-General to explore the option of replacing AMISOM with a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation to Somalia.

Mission planning

cope of the mission

IGASOM was expected to eventually reach 8,000 troops, with an expected cost of $335 million for the first year. According to UN Security Council Resolution 1725, states bordering Somalia would not be eligible to deploy troops under IGASOM. The remaining (non-bordering) IGAD member nations include Sudan, Eritrea, and Uganda. Because of the objection of the burden falling on these three nations alone (and the rivalry between Ethiopia and Eritrea), the mission was expanded to include other Member States of the African Union .

AMISOM has a different composition. As proposed, it is to comprise an initial 3 battalions, growing to a total of 9 battalions of 850 troops each, which would serve for an initial stabilization period of 6 months. The mission was to be modelled after the African Union Mission in Burundi (AMIB).

ICU resistance

As early as March 25, 2005 Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys of the Union of Islamic Courts warned any peacekeepers would be unwelcome in the country. He was quoted by the BBC as saying, "We will fight fiercely to the death any intervention force that arrives in Somalia." [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4382311.stm Somali 'jihad' on foreign troops] BBC] Yet at the time, the ICU was not the political or military force it was to become later.

Faced with the ascendancy of the UIC after taking over the capital in the Second Battle of Mogadishu between May and June, 2006, UN-watchers were growing concerned with the level of hostility of the ICU towards the proposed IGASOM mission.

Though IGAD and the ICU met and published a cordial and formal communique [http://www.igad.org/psd/IGAD_SCIC_COMMUNIQUE_2ND_DEC_06.pdf Communique] IGAD] committing the ICU to the IGAD plans on December 2, by the time United Nations Security Council Resolution 1725 was passed on December 6, the ICU was openly and militantly opposed to peacekeepers entering Somalia, and vowed to treat any peacekeepers as hostile forces. Because of regional divisions, there were also UIC resistance to allowing Ethiopian troops be part of the mission. Ethiopia, for its part, was leery of allowing Eritrean troops to be members of the IGAD peacekeeping force.

In the face of ICU threats, Uganda, the only IGAD members who had openly offered to send forces (a battalion), withdrew in the face of concerns of the present feasibility of the mission. [http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/site/c.glKWLeMTIsG/b.2266983/k.5E/December_2006BRSomalia.htm Security Council Report: December 2006: Somalia] Security Council Report] [http://www.shabelle.net/news/ne1830.htm Controversy in Ugandan government over sending troops to Somalia] Shabelle Media Network] [http://www.shabelle.net/news/ne1846.htm Uganda in quandary of sending peacekeepers to Somalia] Shabelle Media Networks] In Uganda's defense, the crisis does not allow for peacekeepers when there are active hostilities conducted with heavy weapons (see Battle of Baidoa).

On December 23 2006, the fate and feasibility of IGASOM remained uncertain, though US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa to obtain assurances and emphasize plans to deploy IGASOM early in 2007. [http://somalinet.com/news/world/Somalia/6095 ] Voice of America]

On January 1, 2007, after the defeat of the ICU in various battles in December 2006, Uganda again renewed its pledge of a battalion of troops. Between Uganda and Nigeria (which is a Member State of the African Union, but not of IGAD), there was a pledge of a total of 8,000 peacekeepers. [http://www.shabelle.net/news/ne1977.htm Ugandan troops ready to deploy to Somalia within days] Shabelle Media Network] Malawi also pledged to send forces, [ [http://somalinet.com/news/world/Somalia/6954 Latest News - SomaliNet ] ] while Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania may do so. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6301809.stm BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Five killed in Mogadishu attacks ] ]

Gathering support

Following the defeat of the Islamic Courts Union in December 2006–January 2007 the international community began to gather both fiscal commitments as well as military forces for the mission. Nations of the African Union (AU) outside the IGAD community were drawn on to provide support.

On January 17, 2007, the US ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, said the US pledged $40 million to support the deployment of a peacekeeping force for Somalia.cite news
title=US gives Somalia Sh6.4 billion
url=http://www.timesnews.co.ke/18jan07/nwsstory/news3.html
date=2007-01-17
publisher=Kenya Times
accessdate=2007-01-17
] By January 20, the European Union followed with a pledge of 15 million euros.cite news
title=AU wants UN role in Somalia
url=http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411319/964109
publisher=Reuters
date=2007-01-20
accessdate=2007-02-09
]

On January 19, 2007 the mission was formally defined and approved by the African Union at the 69th meeting of the Peace and Security Council.

On January 22, 2007 Malawi agreed to send a half-battalion to a battalion (ranging widely anywhere between approximately 400 to 1,200 troops) for a peacekeeping mission to Somalia.cite news
title=Malawi to send peacekeepers to Somalia
url=http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/LSGZ-6XPDQ4?OpenDocument
date=2007-01-22
publisher=IRIN
accessdate=2007-02-09
]

On January 24, 2007 Nigeria pledged a battalion (a force between 770 and 1,100 troops) to join the Somali peacekeeping mission.cite news
title=Nigeria to send peacekeeping battalion to Somalia
url=http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=newsOne&storyid=2007-01-24T172204Z_01_L24359913_RTRUKOT_0_TEXT0.xml
date=2007-01-24
publisher=Reuters
accessdate=2007-02-09
]

On February 1, 2007 Burundi committed to the peacekeeping mission, pledging up to 1,000 troops.cite web
title=Burundi joins Somalia peace force
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6319937.stm
date=2007-02-01
accessdate=2007-02-09
publisher=BBC
] By March 27, it was confirmed that 1700 Burundian peacekeepers would be sent to Somalia.cite news
title=Burundi troops ready to join Somalia peacekeepers
url=http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L27307695.htm
date=2007-03-27
publisher=Reuters
accessdate=2007-04-02
]

On February 2, 2007, the United Nations Security Council welcomed the advent of the African Union and IGAD-led peacekeeping mission.cite web
title=Security Council press statement on somalia SC/8947 AFR/1495
url=http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2007/sc8947.doc.htm
publisher=United Nations Security Council
accessdate=2007-02-09
]

On February 5, 2007 Tanzania offered to train Somali government troops, but not to deploy peacekeepers.cite news
title=Tanzania offers to train Somali troops, not deploy
url=http://www.shabelle.net/news/ne2248.htm
date=2007-02-05
publisher=Shabelle Media Networks
accessdate=2007-02-09
]

On February 9, 2007 a gathering of 800 Somali demonostrators in north Mogadishu, where Islamist support was strongest, burned U.S., Ethiopian, and Ugandan flags in protest of the proposed peacekeeping mission. A masked representative of the resistance group, the Popular Resistance Movement in the Land of the Two Migrations, said Ethiopian troops would be attacked in their hotels; the same group had made a video warning peacekeepers to avoid coming to Somalia.cite news
title=Diplomats stress need for all-inclusive talks on the future of Somalia
url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-02-09-somalia_x.htm
publisher=Associated Press
date=2007-02-09
accessdate=2007-02-09
] By this date, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi and Burundi had committed to the peacekeeping mission, but the total force was about half of the proposed 8,000-strong force.cite web
title=Peacekeeping protests in Somalia
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6347809.stm
publisher=BBC
date=2007-02-09
accessdate=2007-02-09
] Uganda had pledged 1,400 troops and some armored vehicles for a mission lasting up to 9 months, and the AU had pledged $11.6 million.cite web
title=Off to Somalia
url=http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/uganda/articles/20070209.aspx
publisher=StrategyPage.com
date=2007-02-09
accessdate=2007-02-09
]

On February 16, 2007 Uganda announced it would deploy 1,500 well-seasoned troops as early as Saturday, February 17, 2007 under the command of Major General Levi Karuhanga. The troops had been training for two years in preparation for the mission.cite web
title=Ugandan Troops Set to Arrive in Somalia as Part of AU Force
url=http://shabelle.net/news/ne2336.htm
date=2007-02-16
publisher=Shabelle Media Network
accessdate=2007-02-16
]

The Burundian troops were technically ready to go in early August 2007, but equipment promised by the United States and France had not yet arrived. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6935033.stm BBC NEWS | Africa | Burundi delays Somali deployment ] ] On 23 December 2007, an advance force of 100 Burundians was deployed [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7158412.stm "Burundi troops join AU in Somalia"] , "BBC News", 23 December 2007] and another 100 soldiers arrived on 2007-12-24. [http://www.france24.com/france24Public/en/administration/afp-news.html?id=071224124625.sfw384k5&cat=null France 24 ] ]

Deployment

Casualties

*April 1, 2007 – A mortar attack in Mogadishu kills one and wounds five Ugandan peacekeepers. [cite news |author=Reuters |title= Rebel Mortar Attack in Somalia’s Capital Kills Peacekeeper |work= The New York Times |date=2007-04-02 |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/02/world/africa/02somalia.html?ex=1179460800&en=bb16ba7e50b29f98&ei=5070|accessdate=2007-04-02]
*May 16, 2007 – A roadside bomb hits a convoy of Ugandan peacekeepers in Mogadishu, killing five and wounding five Ugandan soldiers. [cite news|author=Ali Musa Abdi |title= Mogadishu blast kills four Ugandan peacekeepers|publisher=Agence France-Presse via the "Middle East Times" |date=2007-05-16 |url= http://www.metimes.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20070516-034320-6720r|accessdate=2007-05-16]
*April 8, 2008 – A suicide bomber in an automobile loaded with explosives struck a gated checkpoint where peacekeepers stood guard, killing himself and a peacekeeper from Burundi. [ [http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=50820&sectionid=351020501 Press TV - Troop killed in Somali explosion ] ] [ [http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Al_Shabaab_suicide_bomber_strikes_African_Union_peacekeepers.shtml Garowe Online - Home ] ] [ [http://www.somalinet.com/news/world/Somalia/15071 Latest News - SomaliNet ] ]
*August 1 2008 - An Ugandan soldier serving with the African Union (AU) peace force in Somalia was killed by a roadside bomb in the capital, Mogadishu. The attack took place near the international airport where most of the peacekeepers in Somalia are based. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7537125.stm BBC NEWS | Africa | Somali bombing kills peacekeeper ] ]
*September 14 2008 - In an attack, suspected Islamists laid a roadside bomb and fired on a peacekeepers' convoy inspecting for mines in Mogadishu on Sunday, AU staff said. One Ugandan soldier died and two others were wounded in the melee. [http://www.iht.com/articles/reuters/2008/09/14/africa/OUKWD-UK-SOMALIA-CONFLICT.php]
*September 15 2008 - An African Union Ugandan peacekeeper was killed in a roadside bomb explosion in Mogadishu, the second member of the contingent to be killed in the Somali capital in as many days, an AU official told AFP. [http://www.hiiraan.com/news2_rss/2008/Sept/ugandan_peacekeeper_killed_in_fresh_mogadishu_attack.aspx] [http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LF025558.htm]

ee also

* United Nations Security Council
* African Union (AU)
* Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
* Union of Islamic Courts (UIC)
* Transitional Federal Government (TFG)
* Somali Civil War (2006)
* Diplomatic and humanitarian efforts in the Somali Civil War

External links

*http://www.operationspaix.net/-AMISOM-
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7633625.stm "AU peacekeepers mired in Somalia"] , BBC, September 24, 2008

References


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