European Union Amisom funding to continue despite cut
Saturday April 30 2016
The European Union will continue supporting the African Mission in Somalia (Amisom) in its efforts to stabilise the country, despite the recent funding cut.
EU’s ambassador to Somalia, Michele Cervone d’Urso, who spoke at a media briefing in Mogadishu, said that EU’s move to cut funding to Amisom should not be misconstrued as a sign of bad relations, but rather as a result of competing priorities in Africa and the world in general. He did not give details of these priorities.
“Since we are involved and working together in other crises in the world, we should also ensure we stand with Amisom in Somalia. On our side, we are committed to maintaining the current levels, which are a big commitment,” said Ms Michele.
Michele emphasised that Amisom remains an important mission in fighting terrorism and must, therefore, be supported by the international community.
Currently about 22,000 troops seconded from the military forces of Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda are deployed in the country under the mandate of Amisom, to fight Al Shabaab.
The EU has been covering most of the costs of the mission, with an annual spending of about $200 million. Effective January however, it reduced that funding by 20 per cent. The effects are being felt by peacekeeping forces in Somalia as their allowances have equally suffered cuts.
The EU ideally paid each Uganda peacekeepers $1,028 overall but would come down to $828 after government has deducted $200 to cater for preparation expenses.
READ: Ugandan MPs worry over slashed Amisom pay
In February, Heads of State from troop-contributing countries meeting in Djibouti, expressed concern about the cut, urging the UN to intervene and cover the financial shortfall.
The UN is yet to respond, but contributing countries like Uganda has its legislators worried as any shortfall would affect operations due to low morale of the soldiers.