The African Union said it plans to pull its soldiers out of Somalia where they are fighting jihadists by December 2020, according to a statement issued Wednesday.
The “exit strategy” formulated by the AU’s Peace and Security Council calls for the staggered withdrawal of 22 000 troops in the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to begin in October 2018 and be completed by the end of 2020.
The plan was made public this week, following a meeting held in Addis Ababa on June 29.
The UN Security Council has unanimously extended the mandate of the AU Mission in Somalia or African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) with a key strategic objective to eliminate the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
The council’s action comes amidst an AU Peace and Security Council decision that African forces should start withdrawing from the mission from October 2018.
The resolution, passed in New York, calls for a reduction in the threat posted by Al-Shabaab and other armed groups and for AMISOM, in coordination with the UN’s Political Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) help facilitate the political process at all levels ahead of election this year by September.