Somalia calls for termination of #UN political mission

The Somali government has requested the termination of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (#UNSOM), a political mission that has been operating in the war-torn nation since 2013.

The request, made through a letter to the U.N. Security Council, seeks to end UNSOM’s mandate when it expires in October this year. News of the letter circulated on social media for about a day and briefly appeared on the website of the Somali National News Agency before being removed.

Government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the existence of the request to Voice of America (VOA). Ahmed Isse Awad, Somalia’s former foreign minister and former ambassador to the U.S., expressed his belief that the mission is still vital for strengthening government institutions and that the decision to terminate it is untimely.

The Somali government’s request comes at a critical juncture when the U.N.-mandated African Union peacekeeping mission, known as ATMIS and currently comprising at least 10,000 soldiers, is scheduled to withdraw and hand over security responsibilities to the Somali state by the end of 2024.