Somalia: Peacekeeper Plans In Peril

The current plan is for all peacekeepers to be gone by the end of 2018. Right now most (nearly 70 percent) of the government forces are UN peacekeepers contributed by AU (African Union) members. The AU would like to get another 4,000 troops before then to crush the few thousand remaining al Shabaab and ISIL fighters and make it possible for the Somali Army (currently 11,000 troops) to take over. The AU is unlikely to muster another 4,000 troops for six months duty and it appears that Somalia will slide back into anarchy after 2018. At the moment the peacekeeper force cannot even maintain its authorized strength of 22,000.
Over ten percent of those troops are being withdrawn prematurely because of various political and economic disputes. For example in central Somalia (Hiran and Bakool, 300 kilometers north of Mogadishu) al Shabaab gunmen took control of six towns since September as Ethiopian peacekeepers left. Al Shabaab quickly seized the abandoned towns and began killing locals they accused of cooperating with the peacekeepers.
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