MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s federal government has rejected African Union recommendations for reducing the presence of AMISOM peacekeepers in the war-torn Horn of Africa nation, saying a report and proposals written by the body are “devoid of realities”.
“The experts who conducted the assesment didn’t sufficiently consult with the federal government of Somalia,” Somali foreign minister Mohamed Abdirizak told VOA Somali service, adding that the government of president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo informed the African Union of its position last week.
Mr Abdirizak noted that the “report and options are not good options at this point”.
African Union peacekeepers have been operating in Somalia since 2007 and helped train Somali troops and drive Al-Shabaab militants from a number of main towns in the south of the country.
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The mission is now seeking a draw-down due to concerns about funding. In a report issued on May 30, an African Union assessment team proposed four options for the future of the peacekeeping mission, including a hybrid AU-UN force, deployment of East African standby force or complete withdrawal of AMISOM troops from the country, months after the United States pulled out approximately 700 of its forces from Somalia.
In the report, the African Union blamed long-running dispute and failure by Somalia’s federal government and regional states to resolve tensions over sharing of power and resources for the setbacks facing efforts aimed at stabilizing the country.
“Somali political actors do not respect their own agreements; political actors show deference to the clan rather than the federal constitutional order,” the African Union said in a report.
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