Somalia ejects African Union envoy
Somalia on Thursday asked the African Union Commission (AUC) representative in the country to leave within a week after declaring him persona non grata.
The authorities in Mogadishu have accused him of engaging in activities at odds with the peacekeeping mission in the country.
Mr Simon Mulongo, a Ugandan national, was declared persona non-grata on Thursday and given up to November 11 to leave Mogadishu.
Somalia Foreign Affairs ministry wrote to the Addis Ababa-based AU Commission, informing the secretariat of the continental bloc of its decision.
Mr Mulongo “is designated ‘persona non grata’ and ordered to leave Somalia within seven days, for engaging in activities incompatible with Amisom’s mandate and Somalia’s security strategy,” the ministry said.
According to the African Union, AMISOM forces first arrived in Somalia in March 2007. Since then, the AMISOM military component has aided the Somali National Security Forces in driving out the al-Qaeda-affiliated takfiri terror group Al-Shabaab from most of the major cities and towns of southern Somalia.
It has created a relatively secure environment that has allowed the Somali peace process to take root, allowed the local population the opportunity to begin establishing accountable local governance institutions that can begin to deliver services as well as rebuild the local economy and create linkages to the national economy and government, it added.
Currently, five countries — including Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Djibouti — contribute to the more than 19,000 AMISOM military personnel operating in Somalia.
The African Union says it wants to partner with the United Nations in a proposed joint mission to support Somalia in its efforts to battle armed extremists and achieve stability.
In a statement, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council said it endorsed an independent assessment team’s recommendation for a hybrid operation that would replace the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) after this year.