NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – The African Union (AU) has appealed for nearly $90 million in funding for its peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
In a statement, Bankole Adeoye, the AU commissioner for political affairs and peace who made the funding request, said the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) is providing crucial support to the Somali military as they battle against the al-Shabaab militant group.
“I highlighted the many gains by AMISOM and stressed the compelling need for predictable, adequate, flexible and sustainable funding for ATMIS towards its transition of security responsibilities to SSF (The Somalia Stability Fund) by 31 December 2024,” Adeoye said on Twitter after attending a joint AU-UN event on the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) on Wednesday.
Without the funding, he said, the 19,600-strong AU force would be unable to function effectively and fulfill its mandate to reduce the threat posed by terrorists and support peace and reconciliation efforts toward a secure and stable Somalia.
Adeoye’s sentiments were echoed by UN Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo who said that despite initial generous donor support, contributions have “significantly declined,” leaving the mission in a “dire financial situation.”
“Our proposition is straightforward: It is urgent to ensure predictable, sustainable and multi-year funding for ATMIS and adequate resourcing for the Somali security transition,” DiCarlo said.
“Our common objective – the full handover of security responsibilities to Somali security forces and institutions by the end of 2024 – depends on it,” she added.