Assisting the African Union in Somalia

  • Last updated 27-Oct-2010 17:11

NATO has accepted to assist the African Union (AU) mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by providing airlift support to AU member states willing to deploy in Somalia under AMISOM.

© US DOD

NATO has put into practice airlift support from Burundi to Mogadishu and has escorted an AU ship that carried Burundi military equipment for one of the battalions that it had airlifted into Mogadishu.

NATO is also providing two experts for the AU Strategic Planning and Management Unit (SPMU) that supports AMISOM: one in the area of air movement coordination and the other in military manpower management. The experts are assigned to these positions for a period of six months renewable (23 June-December 2008; January-July 2009).

How NATO support developed

The AU made a general request to all partners, including NATO, on 17 January 2007 for financial and logistical support to AMISOM. It later made a more specific request to NATO on 22 May 2007 requesting airlift support for AU member states willing to deploy in Somalia under AMISOM.

On 7 June, the North Atlantic Council agreed, in principle, to support this request. NATO’s support was initially authorized until 21 August 2007. Following renewed AU requests, the North Atlantic Council has agreed to extend its support by periods of six months on several occasions: 21-August to 21 February 2008; 22 February to 21 August 2008; and from 22 August to 21 February 2009.