15 November 2017

Ethiopia: Somalia's Peace, Security Need Continued Support


Since the downfall of Siad Barre in 1991, Somali has become a failed State. Terrorism and anarchy have been a day-to-day phenomenon.

The worst, absence of strong central government and lawlessness has made the State a safe haven that extremists hatched and a warfare civilians massacred in broad daylight in the nation.

Not only within the State, the terrorist group, Al- Shabaab, has also been a serious threat in destabilizing the region through threatening neighboring countries to carry out attacks causing brutal collateral damage to the region.

However, the peacekeeping efforts made by the AU, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and troops contributed by member countries, significant successes are gained against Al-Shabaab.

Ethiopia, as part of its military partnership and foreign policy of sustaining peace and security in the region, has been undertaking operations against Al-Shabaab militants under the command of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Its military engagement under AMISOM, as a result, has obliged the terrorist group ran off from key areas of Mogadishu. What is more, it is enabled to sustain relative peace with in the region.

Few months ago, however, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) has announced plans: for the gradual withdrawal of AMISOM from the country starting from October 2018 until December 2020.

As it is suggested by political analysts, withdrawal of the AMISOM troops from Somalia at this time would create a vacuum for the extremist group to further strengthen its power.

According to them, before the peacekeeping troops withdraw from the country, a number of issues need to be addressed in Somalia.

For instance, Somalia is not fully free from Al-Shabaab. Some parts of it is still under the control of Al-Shabaab. AMISOM's troops withdraw from it, on the contrary, would pave a way for the terrorist groups to resuscitate, re-capture the areas and thereby threaten the whole region. In view of this, there are still issues that require a lot of energy and sustained effort from AMISOM.

Furthermore, as the state building process is still incomplete in Somalia, the removal of the peacekeeping force could endanger Somalia's aspiration of becoming a nation state.

To wind up these and other related issues would improve Somalia's future, all the unfinished assignments should be completed before the peacekeeping troops withdraw.

Building the capacity of the Somali national army and police in a manner which would enable the nation to take over the responsibility of security from AMISOM is crucial.

African is the part of the larger global security structure. And any damage that may occur in the continent, directly or indirectly impact the international community. Hence, the international community should also continue providing its support to AMISOM through allocating the necessary resources.

Continuously supporting and strengthening the capacity of Somalia to withstand terrorism acts needs an effective mechanism to stabilize the State and promote peace and security within the region.

Ethiopia recognizes that its national peace and security is entirely intertwined with its neighbors' security and countries of the region. This is also well defined in country's foreign policy. Threat in the neighboring countries means a treat for countries in the surrounding. Hence, it would further exert efforts to sustain peace and security in the region.


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