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UK rallies donors to support AMISOM amid unpredictable funding

Storyline:National News, Security
PM Theresa warned sustained funding was critical to ensuring AMISOM hand-0ver to Somali security forces. Photo: KDF

The United Kingdom has called on international donors to contribute towards supporting the African Union force in Somalia, AMISOM amid concerns the mission is facing uncertainties over unpredictable and stable funding.

While announcing a £7 million of new UK funding during end of African tour in Nairobi Thursday, Prime Minister Theresa May warned that Somalia was at a critical point which required sustainable support for AMISOM to ensure gains made so far are not eroded.

“Somalia is at a critical juncture and sustainable, predictable funding and support for the troops who are building stability in the region is vital to support a transition to Somali-led security, when the conditions for a handover are right,” May said.

The UK call comes in the backdrop of unresolved funding gap occasioned by the EU’s 20% cut to AMISOM in addition to limited force enablers and multipliers which Troops Contributing Countries and AMISOM have severally urged the UN to provide to bolster its war against the militant group Al-Shabaab.

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George Washington Professor Paul Williams told Goobjoog News recently the 20% cut could dampen the morale of the troops and warned the situation could worsen should President Donald Trump administration make good its threat to cut UN peacekeeping funding.

“The Trump administration has asked a $500 million cut.  If they did, that would cut the UNSOS funding for the logistic support to AMISOM,” said Williams.

The United Nations Support Office for Somalia (UNSOS) provides logistical support to AMISOM.

The conflicting interest within the UN Security Council and the European Union has also made it difficult for a consensus on sustainable funding for AMISOM, Williams said noting that whereas the UK was committed to support Somalia, France wanted funds diverted to the Sahel region where French troops are fighting the Boko Haram insurgency.