NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – The African Union said on Sunday it will extend and expand its military operations against the Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Shabaab in Somalia to include other countries, as its current mandate is due to end by December this year.
Somalia has seen renewed political crisis and instability over the past months amid wrangling between the Horn of Africa nation’s most powerful leaders – the president and his prime minister – nominally over the murder of a female spy. Elections scheduled to be completed on October 10 have also hit another delay.
AMISOM said AU’s Peace and Security Council had decided to shift to a joint mission with the UN that would enable “other willing and interested AU Member States” to join operations against Islamist militants.
The plan will need to have the approval of the United Nations Security Council and the federal government based in Mogadishu.
Th African Union expressed “grave concern at worsening security situation in Somalia” where there had been a “worrying resurgence” of Al-Shabaab’s insurgency campaign.
The United Nations Security Council in March extended mandate of African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia until December following talks between Western countries and African members of the council over funding for AMISOM’s mission.
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