AMISOM – Deployment of Forces

AMISOM has four components: the military, the police, a civilian section, and a humanitarian section.[i]

The Military Component is the biggest of the three components of the AU Mission in the country. The component is mandated to conduct peace support operations in Somalia and seeks to stabilize the situation in the country, create the necessary conditions for the conduct of humanitarian activities and an eventual handover of the Mission to a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation.

Headed by the AMISOM Force Commander, Lieutenant Gen. Jim Beesigye Owoyesigire, the component also provides protection to the country’s Federal Institutions as they carry out their functions and helps secure Somalia’s key infrastructure including its airports and seaports.

Currently, the military component is comprised of troops drawn from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia who are deployed in six sectors covering south and central Somalia. According to AMISOM, these are the current force levels and areas of operation:

Force Levels 2020 (as of September 24, 2020)

Uganda         The Ugandan contingent remains the largest contingent in AMISOM with 6,223 troops based in Sector 1 which comprises Banadir (Mogadishu), Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.

Ethiopia         The Ethiopia National Defence Forces (ENDF) has provided 4,395 uniformed personnel located in Sector 3.

Burundi          The Burundi contingent is the second largest within AMISOM with 5,432 troops. Based in Baidoa, the contingent is primarily responsible for operations in Sector 3, which covers Bay and Bakool regions but also maintains troops in Sector 1 where they work closely with the Ugandan forces.

Kenya             There are 3,664 troops from Kenya located in Sector 2, which has its headquarters in the port city of Kismayo, which is comprised of Lower and Middle Juba.

Djibouti          The country has deployed a contingent of 960 troops into Somalia and they are based in Beletweyne which serves as Sector 4 headquarters which covers the Hiiran region.

Total           20,674

First deployed in March 2007, the AMISOM military component has been instrumental in helping Somali National Security Forces push the Al Qaeda-affiliated terror group, Al-Shabaab, out of much of southern Somalia including most major towns and cities. It has created a relatively secure environment which has allowed the Somali peace process to take root, allowed local population the opportunity to begin establish 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.

Mogadishu is today transformed. The local economy is booming and the effects are far from confined to Mogadishu. Securing the capital allowed AMISOM to move into the second phase of its original concept of operations, deploying across the country and expanding the authority of the state.

The civilian component of AMISOM is led by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC), and is comprised of the following pillars:

  • (1) Mission Support
  • (2) Political Processes
  • (3) Stabilization and Early Recovery
  • (4) Protection, Human Rights and Gender
  • (5) Security Sector Reform

The humanitarian component fulfills the mission mandate to facilitate access to humanitarian assistance, assisting in the reintegration of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees. AMISOM has worked to secure transport routes including the seaport, airport, and roads around Mogadishu in order to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

[i] Ibid, AU Mission in Somalia

[i] AU Mission in Somalia website, http://amisom-au.org/#

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission site at https://amisom-au.org.

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