The five East African nations contributing troops to the AMISOM peacekeeping mission in Somalia have called on the U.N. Security Council to keep troops slated for removal by 2020.
The withdrawal of the more than 20,000 AMISOM peacekeepers from Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia and Djibouti is slated to begin this year.
Heads of state from the five countries met with Somalia’s president and regional officials in Kampala on Friday.
The countries reaffirmed their commitment to continue to assist the federal government of Somalia in its stabilization effort, but they warned that the planned AMISOM drawdown would endanger hard-fought gains made since the force deployed to Somalia in 2007.
More than 80 percent of the country’s territory has been recovered by the Somalia National Army and AMISOM, but the political and security situation in Somalia remains fragile.
In a communique read by Uganda’s foreign minister, Sam Kutesa, the heads of state said the main thrust of U.S. Security Council Resolution 2372 of Aug. 30, 2017, “was a phased reduction and drawdown of AMISOM troops by 2020.” The leaders said the time frames and troop levels under the resolution were “not realistic and would lead to a reversal of the gains made by AMISOM.”