UK to refocus funding to UPDF in Somalia

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ENTEBBE. The United Kingdom is considering reviewing funding for the African Union [Peace-keeping] Mission in Somalia (Amisom) on the basis of the country’s contribution, according to highly placed sources.
Although the subject was discussed in detail on Wednesday evening during closed door talks between President Museveni and the visiting UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, sources familiar with the matter intimated to this newspaper the former colonial master has been pondering the matter for a while now, and especially how to enforce it “tactfully” without sparking off a diplomatic spat nor disillusionment among other troop contributing countries.
Sources who attended the meeting at State House, Entebbbe, told Daily Monitor that Mr Johnson reiterated UK support to Amisom and any other “way” required to ensure peace in Somalia in the Horn of Africa.
Since divorcing from the European Union (EU) last year, although yet to be formalised, the UK has been trying to reinvent itself with policy announcements ostensibly aimed at redefining its role on the global arena. The support to Uganda, a Commonwealth member, in Amisom is viewed as one of them.
The final decision is still pending but sources said a major pronouncement could be made at the May 11 UK-Somalia summit to be held in London, whose invite Mr Johnson delivered to Mr Museveni.
“This morning (Wednesday) I was in Mogadishu (Somalia capital), where while inspecting the guard of honour, I saw several Ugandan troops as part of the forces,” Mr Johnson said at the joint press conference with the President.
“We really appreciate your steadfastness in peace building in Somalia.”
He said, “When we decided to leave the EU, we were not leaving Europe; we are still committed to partnership, trade, stability and prosperity.”
He described the exit from EU ‘Brexit” as “an opportunity” for “Bre-entry” not only back to EU with a voice but also into the global arena.
The former Mayor of London, in an article published in 2002 entitled “Cancel the Guilt Trip” in which he reckoned it was not “credible” to blame Africa’s “mess” on colonialism said problem is “not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge any more”.

Trade
Besides Somalia, the two principles also discussed trade opportunities and investments.
President Museveni said they also discussed other hotspots on the African continent.”
The UPDF have been praised for taking a lead role in pacifying Somalia after almost two decades of political anarchy.
Uganda deployed troops to Somalia in 2007, and currently maintains the largest peace keeping force of 6,000 in Somalia.
Other countries contributing troops to Amisom include Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti.
The mission is funded by the European Union (EU) and United Nations through trust funds, respectively.
However, the EU recently announced plans to roll back support to Amisom citing competing priorities the regional bloc is grappling with and further pleaded with the international community to fill the gap. The EU said it was cutting the soldiers’ pay by 20 per cent.
But the government has for long pushed for revision of funding based on assessment of troop contributing states.
While in Somalia earlier-on, Mr Johnson met with the newly elected Somali President Abdullahi Farmaajo and Prime Minister Hassan Khayre for discussions, among others, on how to solidify the political transition, security and the famine and drought currently ravaging desert country.

Funding. The United Kingdom is considering reviewing funding for the African Union Mission in Somalia on the basis of the country’s contribution.
Peace. Mr Johnson reiterated UK support to Amisom and any other “way” required to ensure peace in Somalia in the Horn of Africa.
Pending. The final decision is still pending but sources said a major pronouncement could be made at the May 11 UK-Somalia summit to be held in London, whose invite Mr Johnson delivered to Mr Museveni.
Amisom. Uganda deployed troops to Somalia in 2007, and currently maintains the largest peace keeping force of 6,000 in Somalia. Other countries contributing troops to Amisom include Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti.

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