UN Security Council renews AMISOM mandate in Somalia

(UN)The UN Security Council on Friday voted unanimously to renew the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) as well as its support package for the mission.

The Security Council urged the African Union to increase its 9,000-strong force in Somalia to its U.N.-mandated level of 12,000 troops to help improve security in the capital, Mogadishu.

It did not, however, agree to the African Union’s request to raise the size of the force to 20,000 troops.

All 15 members of the council voted for Security Council resolution 2010, which will keep AMISOM on the ground until at least Oct. 31, 2012.

The council urged the government “to remain united and redouble its efforts to complete the priority tasks and goals agreed on in the roadmap, paving the ground for a better future for Somalis.”

The resolution allowed AMISOM to take ‘all necessary measures’ to carry out its mandate in the Horn of African country, which has been hit by severe drought and famine, and an insurgency that has prevented the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The situation on the ground in Somalia has been developing rapidly in the past few months. A famine in the war-torn country has been accompanied by rapid political changes, with militant group Alshabab departing from Mogadishu in early August, and the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) making plans to install a permanent government by Aug. 2012.

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