Johannesburg - A senior United Nations official has called for greater support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and warned that lack of funding could endanger hard-won progress in the country.
“We have continued to hear passionate appeals from the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council and the AU Commission that the issue of predictable, flexible and adequate funding for AMISOM needs to be addressed urgently,” said Haile Menkerios, the special representative of the secretary-general to the AU.
Menkerios made the remarks on Tuesday while he was briefing the Security Council on the cooperation between the Organisation and regional entities, including the AU.
“It would be tragic, not least for the long-suffering Somali people, if the gains and sacrifices of the last decade were reversed because the international community was unable to provide adequate and predictable funding for the Mission,” he warned.
The senior UN official also noted the continued commitment of the Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council to consider financial burden-sharing for AU Peace Support Operations authorised by the Security Council.
Further in his briefing, Menkerios, also the head of the UN Office to the AU (UNAOU), highlighted the continuous engagement at different levels between the UN Secretariat and the AU Commission, and that UN envoys work with and complement the efforts of AU Special Envoys in a number of critical situations across the continent.
He also spoke on collaborative engagements between the UN and the AU, and the Security Council’s recognition that its deliberations and decisions on peace and security issues in Africa can be enriched by briefings by senior AU officials, alongside their UN counterparts.
“As many Council members stated during the deliberations, there is a wealth of knowledge, experience and understanding which special representatives of the AU, as well as those of its regional economic communities and regional mechanisms, could place at the disposal of this Council,” he said, adding: “The UN Secretariat stands ready to work with the AU Commission in this regard”.