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UN authorises 1,000 troops cut from Somalia by February 2020

Storyline:National News

The United Nations Security Council has authorised the reduction of troops serving under AMISOM by 1,000.

In a resolution Friday, the UN body put the maximum number of AMISOM troops in Somalia by February 28, 2020 at 19,626 ‘in line with the existing plan to gradually transfer such responsibilities to Somali security forces.’

But unlike last year’s caution against delays in draw-down, the Council provided for a window of adjustment on the cuts based on the transitional plan and the situation in Somalia.

The Transition Plan, a multi-faceted approach including building the capacity of Somali Security Forces, extension of government presence to protect already secured areas among others aims at creating conditions for the transfer of security responsibilities to Somali Security Forces from AMISOM.

The UN Security Council anticipates Somalia should be able to take the lead by December 2021 but does not mean the final withdrawal date for AMISOM from Somalia.

The Security Council held back in July last year its decision to pull out 1,000 by October and extended the deadline to February 2019.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked the Council to delay the drawdown noting the deadlines ‘were not realistic’