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African Union renews calls for no-fly zone over Somalia, wants 3 ports blockaded
The African Union (AU) has renewed its earlier calls for a no-fly zone over Somalia and additional sanctions to blockade three ports in Southern Somalia with a view to cutting off supplies to Islamic militants in Somalia. They also welcomed the decision of Ethiopia to support AMISOM and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Kenya's operation in Somalia.

The AU ambassadors said the Kenya-led operation in South-Central Somalia, which is carried out in pursuance of IGAD and the AU decisions as well as relevant UN Security Council resolutions, had made major military gains in the country.

“Together with the military gains achieved in Mogadishu, they create a unique opportunity to further peace and reconciliation in Somalia and bring to a definite end the untold suffering inflicted on the Somali people,” the PSC said on Friday.

The PSC requested the AU Commission to submit its recommendations to the UN Security Council for an enhanced mandate of AMISOM and to authorize its strengthening to a level and size that are appropriate for the consolidation of peace and security in Mogadishu and South Central Somalia.

AMISOM’s current strength is 12,000 soldiers although the AU and IGAD, a regional security body formed by seven states in East Africa which has been seeking the deployment of 20,000 troops to deal with the crisis in Somalia.

The AU further called on the UN to agree on a stable financing plan for AMISOM, adding that it was time the funds were drawn from the UN budget.

It asked the UN Security Council to consider authorizing funding from the assessed budget to AMISOM, of the required mission support, including the enhanced personnel, force enablers and multipliers and equipment.

The AU also requested the Council to boost the allowances for the troops and formed police units provided for in the strategic concept.

To deal with the security in Mogadishu, the AU asked the UN Security Council, which is due to meet in New York to discuss the ongoing Kenyan operation in Somalia and sanctions against Eritrea, to consider changing the troops mandate.

AU is requesting the immediate partial re-hatting of AMISOM as UN peacekeeping operation in the sector of Mogadishu and its environments with a peace consolidation mandate, while the AU and the TFG-led efforts continue in the rest of the territory.