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AU force seeks to re-organize before exit of Burundi contingent

The African union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is seeking to re-organize its troops and the Somali National Army (SNA) ahead of the drawdown of 1,000 troops from the Burundi contingent next month.

Francisco Madeira, special representative of the chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, said it was crucial for the allied forces to carry out joint military operations to flush out al-Shabab militants in the Horn of Africa nation.

“The transition is about supporting governance institutions in a robust and effective way to ensure peace and security in Somalia,” Madeira told a security meeting in Mogadishu, according to a statement from the AU mission issued on Thursday.

“It is important for AMISOM and SNA to undertake joint military operations to flush out al-Shabaab,” Madeira stressed during the meeting which discussed modalities for joint implementation of the AMISOM Concept of Operations (CONOPS), a framework for AMISOM’s exit strategy.

The CONOPS, which aims to provide a structure for AMISOM operations from 2018 to 2021, provides an effective framework for implementation of the AU troops’ gradual transition and final exit from Somalia.

The AU envoy noted that the transition was on course, citing the handover of the Mogadishu National Stadium in August last year and ongoing preparations by AMISOM to relinquish control of Jaalle Siyaad Military Academy in Mogadishu to the Somali Security Forces by the end of February. 

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