President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has threatened to withdraw his country’s forces from the peacekeeping mission in Somalia if the United Nations insists on reducing the number of troops on the mission. Ugandan is the first contributing country in AMISOM with 6400 troops fighting against AL Shabab militants in Somalia.
THE BIG PICTURE: Following the proposed drawdown by the UN Security Council and the African Union of the AMISOM troops from Somalia, some contributing countries are now considering to quit the ANISOM if the decision to draw down troops from AMISOM is maintained. Burundi and Uganda have threathened to quit AMISOM.
Burundi, through its parliament, has argued that the reduced size of its troops in Somalia may jeopardize the security of the remaining 4400 troops in Somalia.
Due to declining and irregular funding, the UN Security Council, in Resolution 2372 of 2017, proposed a phased drawdown of peacekeepers in Somalia with a full pullout by 2020.
President of Uganda has been critical of the United Nations Body in various sectors ranging from funding and how the UN acts when some African countries have been accused of failing to protect the human rights of its subjects.
The Ugandan president, who has recently become critical of the UN, said he had personally informed the Security Council that Uganda would withdraw its 6,400 contingent from Somalia if it is forced to scale down, the East African reports.
This comes after Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza threatened to pull out of Amisom if the funders of the mission insist that Bujumbura recall its 1,000 soldiers.
“They recommended I should reduce the number of soldiers but I will not reduce even a single one unless I take all of them out of Somalia,” Mr. Museveni said.
Uganda is the largest troop-contributing country to Amisom, with more than 6,400, of the total 21,626 soldiers. The troop-contributing countries have said that this number is smaller than what is required to fully pacify Somalia and have been advocating a troop surge instead.
Mr. Museveni told the High-Level Ministerial Meeting of Ministers in charge of Refugees in the Great Lakes region at Munyonyo in Kampala that his efforts to convince UN secretaries-general Ban Ki-Moon and his successor António Guterres were rebuffed.
It should be noted that Kenya has been urged by some authorities to quit altogether AMISOM over the frequent attacks by AL Shabab in Nairobi. But the Kenyan Defense Forces have so far ruled out the possibility of pulling out all of its troops from AMISOM, saying that it is one way of ‘keeping at bay the AL Shabab militants’.
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