The African Union has to contribute funds to meet the shortfall in Amisom funding following the 20% cut by the European Union, the UN Security Council has said.
Speaking during a media conference in Mogadishu Thursday, British Permanent Representative to the Council Matthew John Rycroft said it was upon the continental body to shoulder the responsibility of filling the gap to ensure Amisom carries out its mandate effectively.
“The issue of troop’s stipend for the Amisom soldiers is a complicated one; we are looking for African Union to step up and fill the gap left by the EU funding cut,” said Rycroft.
Rycroft however noted the Security Council was keen on supporting Amisom realise its mandate.
“We are united as Security Council in supporting Amisom in making sure it has the mandate and the support that it requires. We have recently strengthened and sourced new support arrangements to make sure Amisom has the best possible support from the UN it can get,” noted Rycroft.
While noting the Council would soon extend the mandate of Amisom, Rycroft encouraged the force to adopt more robust tactics to fight Al-Shabaab which he said was deploying speed and surprise in its attack strategies.
Amisom chief Francisco Madeira noted however the success of Amisom was based on collective efforts by various actors though he did not specifically address the shortfall.
“This is a joint venture; this is a business which needs to succeed. And for it to succeed, it takes Amisom for the time being, it takes SNA (Somali National Army) and the remaining Somali security forces and regional and federal leaders,” said Madeira.
The Security Council remarks will likely generate reaction from the Troops Contributing Countries, TCCs and African Union which had earlier indicated it was not ready to contribute any money towards funding Amisom.
Speaking during a TCC conference in Djibouti February, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta whose country contributes about 5000 soldiers to Amisom said the TCCs were not ready to contribute funding noting the responsibility of maintaining world peace was squarely the mandate of the UN Security Council.
Amisom has also in the recent past warned against funding cut to its soldiers especially at this critical moment as Somalia prepares for elections in August.
The European Union February slashed its monthly stipends to Amisom by 20%. Initially, each soldier was entitled to $826 after a statutory deduction by respective governments of $200 for administrative costs.