Reforming the AU Mission in Somalia

The UN mandate for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) will expire on 31 December 2021. Fatigued financial donors want reforms and perhaps cuts, while the AU and troop-contributing states seek reliable funding. Somalia’s government relies on the mission but is nonetheless ambivalent about the need to maintain it. Despite a mixed record, AMISOM is essential in maintaining a measure of stability in Somalia. A hasty withdrawal would embolden Al-Shabaab’s Islamist insurgency and could plunge the country into chaos. But donors are increasingly reluctant to bankroll a mission that has made little progress against militants over recent years. The UN Security Council should extend AMISOM’s mandate by six months. AMISOM’s partners should use that time to make a reconfiguration plan that contemplates a five-year horizon; seek funding from the UN, African Union and others to address shortfalls; and encourage reconciliation between Mogadishu and its domestic adversaries.