Somalia Requests the End of UN Political Mission

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Washington — The Somali government has formally requested the U.N. Security Council to conclude its U.N. political mission in Somalia, a mission that has been supporting the conflict-affected nation since 2013.

Information regarding a letter that seeks the conclusion of the 360-member United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) by the end of its mandate in October has been disseminated on social media for roughly 24 hours. Additionally, this news briefly appeared on the Somali National News Agency’s website before its removal.

Government representatives, preferring anonymity due to lack of authorization for media engagement, verified the request’s existence to VOA.

Ahmed Isse Awad, former foreign minister of Somalia and ex-ambassador to the U.S., believes the mission remains crucial for Somalia, dubbing the decision to end it as premature.

“For more than ten years, the U.N. political mission has been instrumental in advising and aiding Somalia in governance, peacebuilding, security reforms, and democratic processes. It plays a critical role in bolstering governmental institutions. Terminating it now is ill-advised,” he stated.

The request to terminate the mission arises as a U.N.-sanctioned African Union security mission, known as ATMIS and numbering at least 10,000 troops, prepares to hand over security responsibilities to Somali authorities by year’s end.

Attempts by VOA to reach Somalia’s foreign and information ministries remained unanswered.

The United Nations notes that UNSOM was initiated in 2013 by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2102 to offer policy and peacebuilding guidance to both the Somali federal government and the African Union Mission in Somalia.

Security Council resolutions have extended the UNSOM mandate more than 15 times, with the latest Resolution 2710 in 2023 set to expire in October.

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