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African Union calls for more United Nations
support to realize Somalia elections in 2020   

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The African Union 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.



UN says food security in Somalia improves amid declines in famine

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Food security has improved in Somalia mainly due to continued large-scale humanitarian assistance and seasonal improvements to food and income sources during the Deyr (October-December) season, the UN-backed food security analysis revealed on Monday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) assessments however showed that 2.7 million people will face Crisis or Emergency between now and June.

“This represents improvement in the overall food security situation in Somalia compared to the 3.2 million people projected to be in Crisis or worse between April and December 2017,” said the report released in Mogadishu.

The report said that although the risk of famine has declined, in the absence of assistance, many households would face large food consumption gaps.

“Humanitarian assistance must be sustained to prevent further deterioration of the food security and nutrition situation in Somalia,” FSNAU said.

According to the report, an additional 2.7 million people are classified as Stressed through June, adding that in total, 5.4 million people across Somalia face acute food insecurity.

“In addition, in the absence of continued large-scale assistance, food security is expected to deteriorate through June 2018, as food and income sources decline further,” the report said.

The report, however, said 2017 Deyr rains were still below average in most parts of Somalia and the 2018 Gu (April-June) rains are also forecast to be below average.

“As a result, food and income sources are expected to remain below normal in most areas throughout the projection period,” FSNAU said.


AU’s Somalia mission to train, mentor local security forces

MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) -- African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said Sunday a multinational team of newly deployed police officers will mentor and train local police forces in the management of law and order as the country rebuilds its security institutions.

AMISOM said the 40 AU police officers from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia who have just concluded induction training will be deployed in different police stations in Mogadishu and in the federal member states where AMISOM has presence.

Rex Dundun, the Chief of Staff of AMISOM Police urged the police officers to execute AMISOM’s mandate with diligence and commitment to duty.



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