AU calls for more UN support to realize Somalia elections in 2020

ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) — The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, on Monday called for more support from the UN to realize national elections in Somalia by 2020.

Chergui, speaking at the sidelines of the second day of session of the 30th African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government, said the AU has budget for peacekeeping operations in Somalia that lasts only until May 2018.

He was particularly referring to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), a regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations in Somalia.

AMISOM, which recently marked 10 years of peacekeeping in strife-torn Somalia, has grown from a force of several hundred to around 22,000.

The mission has for some time faced monetary pressure and domestic concerns over casualties from troop contributing nations. Currently, Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and Djibouti make up the AMISOM force.

“As much as we regain territories, degrade terrorist group Al-Shabab, we need to train and prepare Somali national forces to take over for these interrelated processes progress to be sustainable,” said Chergui.

“There’s an overwhelming unanimity among AU member states on the need to build institutions, to promote excellent relationship among all regional leaders and prepare next step in 2020 where we can have a new election with international standard” said Chergui.

“As much as we celebrate the defeat of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, we want the international community to put at our disposal the same means and support so that we can quickly recover the territories lost to terrorists in Somalia, Lake Chad basin, Mali and Sahel region,” he added.