African Union Mission to Somalia
  (Redirected from AMISOM)
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is an active, regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations Security Council. It is mandated to support transitional governmental structures, implement a national security plan, train the Somali security forces, and to assist in creating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid.[1] As part of its duties, AMISOM also supports the Federal Government of Somalia's forces in their battle against Al-Shabaab militants.[2]
African Union Mission in Somalia

Map of Somalia
LeadersFrancisco Caetano Jose Madeira (Mission Head); Simon Mulongo (Deputy Head of Mission); Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondlmhunean (Force Commander); AIGP Augustine Magnus Kailie(Police Commissioner).
Dates of operationFebruary 2007 – present
(14 years, 2 months, 3 weeks and 3 days)
Active regionsCentral and southern Somalia
SizeApprox. 20,626
Federal government of Somalia
Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a (2007–18)
Raskamboni movement
ARS (2007–09)
Hizbul Islam (2009–14)
Battles and warsthe Somali Civil War
Preceded by
AMISOM was created by the African Union's Peace and Security Council on 19 January 2007 with an initial six-month mandate.[3] On 21 February 2007 the United Nations Security Council approved the mission's mandate.[4] Subsequent six-monthly renewals of AMISOM's mandate by the African Union Peace and Security Council have also been authorised by the United Nations Security Council.[5][6]
The duration of AMISOM's mandate has been extended in each period that it has been up for review, lastly in May 2019. The current mandate expires on 31 May 2020,[needs update] with a reduction of troop levels to a maximum of 19,626 by 28 February 2020.[7]
Burundian troops preparing to deploy to Somalia, 2006
Main article: Diplomatic and humanitarian efforts in the Somali Civil War
AMISOM replaced and subsumed the IGAD Peace Support Mission in Somalia (IGASOM), which was a proposed Intergovernmental Authority on Development protection and training mission to Somalia approved by the African Union on 14 September 2006.[8] IGASOM was also approved by the United Nations Security Council on 6 December 2006.[9]
IGASOM was originally proposed for immediate implementation in March 2005 to provide peacekeeping forces for the latest phase of the Somali Civil War.[10]
At that time, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) had not yet taken control of Mogadishu, and most hopes for national unity lay with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) which had organized in Nairobi, Kenya in 2004 and were planning to establish a provisional capital in Baidoa, Bay region, Somalia.
By May 2006, the situation was radically different, as the ICU had recently been engaged by the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism or ARPCT and was fighting for control of Mogadishu in the Second Battle of Mogadishu. By June, they had established control of the capital. Fighting began to spread to other parts of the nation as the ICU gained ground.
Plans for IGASOM continued, though by July there were indications of opposition from the ICU, who saw the initiative as a US-backed, Western means to curb the growth of their Islamic movement.[11]
Until December 2006, the UN Security Council had imposed an arms embargo on the group,[12] but the embargo was partially lifted and a mandate for IGASOM issued on 6 December 2006 for six months.[13]
On 21 February 2007, the United Nations Security Council authorised the African Union to deploy a peacekeeping mission with a mandate of six months.[4] In March 2007, Ugandan military officials arrived on the ground in Somalia.[14] On 20 August 2007, the United Nations Security Council extended the African Union's authorisation to continue deploying AMISOM for a further six months and requested the Secretary-General to explore the option of replacing AMISOM with a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation to Somalia.[5]
On 31 May 2019, the Security Council unanimously approved resolution 2472, authorising Member States of the African Union to maintain the deployment of AMISOM until 31 May 2020, with a reduction of the number of troops to 19,626 by 28 February 2020.[7]
The Security Council decided, in a 29 May videoconference meeting, to reauthorize the deployment of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) personnel for nine months, requiring them to support security in the lead-up to elections and to work towards the gradual hand-over of responsibility to Somali forces by 2021.[15]

Mission planning
Scope of the mission
An American officer inspecting troops from Sierra Leone prior to deployment to Somalia, 2012
IGASOM was expected to eventually reach 8,000 troops, with an expected cost of $335 million for the first year. According to UN Security Council Resolution 1725, states bordering Somalia would not be eligible to deploy troops under IGASOM. The remaining (non-bordering) IGAD member nations include Sudan, Eritrea, and Uganda. Because of the objection of the burden falling on these three nations alone (and the rivalry between Ethiopia and Eritrea), the mission was expanded to include other member states of the African Union.
AMISOM has a different composition. As proposed, it is to comprise an initial three battalions, growing to a total of nine battalions of 850 troops each, which would serve for an initial stabilization period of six months. The mission was to be modelled after the African Union Mission in Burundi (AMIB).[3]
ICU resistance
As early as 25 March 2005 Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys of the Union of Islamic Courts warned any peacekeepers would be unwelcome in the country. He was quoted by the BBC as saying, "We will fight fiercely to the death any intervention force that arrives in Somalia."[16] Yet at the time, the ICU was not the political or military force it was to become later.
Faced with the ascendancy of the ICU after taking over the capital in the Second Battle of Mogadishu between May and June, 2006, UN-watchers were growing concerned with the level of hostility of the ICU towards the proposed IGASOM mission.[11]
Though IGAD and the ICU met and published a cordial and formal communique[17] committing the ICU to the IGAD plans on 2 December, by the time United Nations Security Council Resolution 1725 was passed on 6 December,[9] the ICU was openly and militantly opposed to peacekeepers entering Somalia, and vowed to treat any peacekeepers as hostile forces. Because of regional divisions, there were also UIC resistance to allowing Ethiopian troops be part of the mission. Ethiopia, for its part, was leery of allowing Eritrean troops to be members of the IGAD peacekeeping force.
In the face of ICU threats, Uganda, the only IGAD members who had openly offered to send forces (a battalion), withdrew in the face of concerns of the present feasibility of the mission.[18][19][20] In Uganda's defense, the crisis does not allow for peacekeepers when there are active hostilities conducted with heavy weapons (see Battle of Baidoa).
On 1 January 2007, after the defeat of the ICU in various battles in December 2006, Uganda again renewed its pledge of a battalion of troops. Between Uganda and Nigeria (which is a Member State of the African Union, but not of IGAD), there was a pledge of a total of 8,000 peacekeepers.[21] Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania were reported to be considering sending forces.[22]
Gathering support
Burundian soldiers training before deployment to Somalia, 2012
Following the defeat of the Islamic Courts Union in December 2006 – January 2007 the international community began to gather both fiscal commitments as well as military forces for the mission. Nations of the African Union (AU) outside the IGAD community were drawn on to provide support.
On 17 January 2007, the US ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, said the US pledged $40 million to support the deployment of a peacekeeping force for Somalia.[23] By 20 January, the European Union followed with a pledge of 15 million euros.[24]
On 19 January 2007 the mission was formally defined and approved by the African Union at the 69th meeting of the Peace and Security Council.[3]
On 22 January 2007 Malawi agreed to send a half-battalion to a battalion (ranging widely anywhere between approximately 400 to 1,200 troops) for a peacekeeping mission to Somalia.[25]
On 24 January 2007 Nigeria pledged a battalion (a force between 770 and 1,100 troops) to join the Somali peacekeeping mission.[26]
On 1 February 2007 Burundi committed to the peacekeeping mission, pledging up to 1,000 troops.[27] By 27 March, it was confirmed that 1700 Burundian peacekeepers would be sent to Somalia.[28]
On 2 February 2007, the United Nations Security Council welcomed the advent of the African Union and IGAD-led peacekeeping mission.[29]
On 5 February 2007 Tanzania offered to train Somali government troops, but not to deploy peacekeepers.[30]
On 9 February 2007 a gathering of 800 Somali demonstrators in north Mogadishu, where Islamist support was strongest, burned U.S., Ethiopian, and Ugandan flags in protest of the proposed peacekeeping mission. A masked representative of the resistance group, the Popular Resistance Movement in the Land of the Two Migrations, said Ethiopian troops would be attacked in their hotels; the same group had made a video warning peacekeepers to avoid coming to Somalia.[31] By this date, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi and Burundi had committed to the peacekeeping mission, but the total force was about half of the proposed 8,000-strong force.[32] Uganda had pledged 1,400 troops and some armored vehicles for a mission lasting up to 9 months, and the AU had pledged $11.6 million.[33]
On 16 February 2007 Uganda announced it would deploy 1,500 well-seasoned troops as early as Saturday, 17 February 2007 under the command of Major General Levi Karuhanga. The troops had been training for two years in preparation for the mission.[34]
The Burundian troops were technically ready to go in early August 2007, but equipment promised by the United States and France had not yet arrived.[35] On 23 December 2007, an advance force of 100 Burundians was deployed[36] and another 100 soldiers arrived on 2007-12-24.[37] By late 2008, 1,700 Burundian soldiers were deployed to Mogadishu.[38]
On July 28, 2009, the World Health Organization was notified that 21 AMISOM soldiers in Mogadishu had become sick, and three had died, with acute peripheral edema, difficulty in breathing, palpitations, and fever.[39] The WHO, together with the U.S. Center for Disease Control, AMISOM, and the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi began an investigation. From April 26, 2009 to May 1, 2010, 241 AU soldiers had lower limb edema and at least one additional symptom; four patients died. At least 52 soldiers were airlifted to hospitals in Kenya and Uganda. Four of 31 hospitalized patients had right-sided heart failure with pulmonary hypertension. The illness was associated with exclusive consumption of food provided to troops (not eating locally acquired foods). Because the syndrome was clinically compatible with wet beriberi, thiamine was administered to affected soldiers, resulting in rapid and dramatic resolution.
Expanding role
AMISOM soldiers at the 2012 Female Peacekeepers' Conference
In a closed door meeting in Kampala on 22 July 2010, AU ministers agreed to expand the mission's mandate from a peacekeeping focus to a peace-enforcement focus that would engage al-Shabaab more directly. The decision came soon after deadly bomb attacks in the Ugandan capital.[40] A few days later in response to UN pressure, the AU agreed not to expand the mandate but did allow preemptive strikes against Al-Shabaab and promised more troops from other African countries.[41]
On 23 July 2010, Djibouti and Guinea pledged troops to AMISOM.[42] On 17 September 2010, an AU envoy said in Nairobi that AMISOM's size had grown from 6,300 to 7,200 troops after an additional battalion from Uganda joined the force.[43] In December 2010, the UN backed AMISOM in increasing the mission's authorised size to 12,000 – UN Security Council resolution 1964 of 22 December 2010 – and at the same time reports indicated that Uganda had promised an extra 1,800 personnel, with Burundi an extra 850.[44]
In March 2011 Burundi sent 1,000 extra soldiers to AMISOM, bringing the total number of Burundi troops deployed to 4,400.[45] AFP, reported in Africa Research Bulletin, said Burundian military chief General Godefroid Niyombare said on 14 March 2011 the soldiers had been deployed a week before.[46]
In February 2012, the U.N. Security Council boosted the number of troops deployed from 12,000 to 17,731. The approval comes after a series of recent successes against al-Shabaab fighters who had previous positions throughout the central and southern areas of the country.[47] During the same month, AU Commander Fred Mugisha suggested that Al-Shabaab was "at [its] weakest" and would likely "implode in the not so distant future" owing to successive military defeats that it suffered as well as an exodus toward the Arabian Peninsula of hundreds of the group's fighters.[48]
Due to the successful military operations against the Islamists, the United States has also been stepping up efforts to train and equip the AMISOM troops in a bid to stamp out the Al-Shabaab insurgency and limit its influence.[49]
In October 2011, the Kenya Defence Forces began Operation Linda Nchi, crossing the border into Somalia to attack Al-Shabaab.[50][51] On 12 November, the Kenyan government agreed to rehat its forces under AMISOM command,[52] and later announced in March 2012 that it would send 5,000 troops to join AMISOM.[52]
The East African reported in March 2012 on reorganisation of AMISOM's headquarters and sector commands. Personnel (J1) would be led by the AU, with Kenya taking responsibility for intelligence (J2) and logistics (J4), Uganda operations (J3) and engineer (J8), Burundi plans (J5) and communications/IS (J6), Sierra Leone training (J7), and Djibouti CIMIC (J9). There would also be four sectors: Uganda responsible for Sector One (the Shabelles and Banadir), Sector Two (the Jubbas) run by Kenya, Sector Three Burundi covering GEdo, Bay, and BAkool, and Sector from which Ethiopia forces were withdrawing from to be directed by Djibouti.[53]
In November 2013, the Ethiopian government announced that it would integrate its troops that are deployed in Somalia into the AMISOM multinational force. Somalia's Foreign Minister Fowzia Haji Yussuf welcomed the decision, stating that the move would galvanize AMISOM's campaign against the insurgent group. She also emphasized the importance of collaboration between Somalia and Ethiopia.[54] The Ethiopian authorities' announcement came a month after a failed October bombing attempt by Al-Shabaab in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, and a week after Ethiopia received a renewed terrorism threat from the insurgent group.[55] According to Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ambassador Dina Mufti, the Ethiopian military's decision to join AMISOM is intended to render the peacekeeping operation more secure.[56] Analysts also suggested that the move was primarily motivated by financial considerations, with the Ethiopian forces' operational costs now slated to be under AMISOM's allowance budget. It is believed that the Ethiopian military's long experience in Somali territory, its equipment such as helicopters, and the potential for closer coordination will help the allied forces advance their territorial gains.[57] On the other hand, there is a certain amount of unease following Ethiopia's entry into AMISOM given local animosity originating from Ethiopia's heavy handed intervention in 2006. There are also fears that Al Shabaab could use Somali animosity towards Ethiopia as a rallying cry and to recruit more members.[58]
In December 2013, the U.S. government established a military coordination cell in Mogadishu at the request of AMISOM and the Somali government. The unit consists of a small team of fewer than five advisers, including planners and communicators between AMISOM and the Somali authorities. It is intended to provide consultative and planning support to the allied forces in order to enhance their capacity and to promote peace and security throughout the country and wider region.[59]
Leadership and command
Ugandan troops training, 2012
An AU contingent pauses during combat operations against Al-Shabaab in Lower Shebelle.
Djiboutian Soldier patrol the base in Beledweyne, Somalia.
The Head of Mission is the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to Somalia, or SRCC. On 7 October 2015, Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, of Mozambique, was appointed to this position, replacing Maman Sambo Sidikou of Niger.[60]
Force Commanders
1Maj. Gen. Levi Karuhanga[61][62]
14 February 20073 March 2008
2Maj. Gen. Francis Okello
3 March 20087 July 2009
3Maj. Gen. Nathan Mugisha[63]
7 July 200915 June 2011[64]
4Maj. Gen. Fredrick Mugisha
15 June 2011[64][65]2 May 2012 [66]
5Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti[67]
3 May 201216 December 2013[68]
6Lt. Gen. Silas Ntigurirwa[69] Burundi16 December 201315 December 2014
7Lt. Gen. Jonathon Kipkemoi Rono
December 201423 December 2015[70]
Maj. Gen. Nakibus Lakara
December 2015Temporarily acting in role
Maj. Gen. Mohamedesha Zeyinu [71] EthiopiaMarch 2016Temporarily acting in role
8Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh [72]
18 July 201631 January 2018
9Lt. Gen. Jim Beesigye Owoyesigire [73]
31 January 201831 January 2019
10Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn [74] Ethiopia31 January 2019August 2020
11Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya[75] BurundiAugust 2020incumbent
Deputy Force Commanders
1Maj. Gen. Juvenal Niyoyunguruza BurundiDecember 2007August 2009Killed in suicide bomb blast at AMISOM headquarters on 17 September 2009.[76]
2Maj. Gen. Cyprien Hakiza BurundiAugust 2009April 2010
3Maj. Gen. Maurice Gateretse BurundiApril 2010June 2010
4Maj. Gen. Audace Nduwumunsi BurundiJune 2010
5aMaj. Gen. Salvatore Harushimana BurundiDeputy Force Commander (Support)
5bMaj. Gen. Simon N. Karanja[77]
9 April 2012December 2013Deputy Force Commander (Operations & Plans)
6aMaj. Gen. Francis Kimeu Nthenge[78]
27 November 2013September 2014Deputy Force Commander (Support & Logistics)
6bMaj. Gen. Geoffrey Baraba Muheesi[79]
27 November 2013Deputy Force Commander (Operations & Plans)
7aMaj. Gen. Nakibus Lakara[80]
April 201528 October 2016 [81] but then remained until 10 April 2017[82]Deputy Force Commander (Logistical Support)
7bMaj. Gen. Mohammed Esha Zeyinu[83] Ethiopia30 September 2016[84]Deputy Force Commander (Operations & Plans)
8aMaj. Gen. Salvator Harushimana Burundi10 April 2017Deputy Force Commander (Administration & Logistics)[82]
8bMaj. Gen. Abreha Tesfay[84] Ethiopia1 October 2016Deputy Force Commander (Operations & Plans)
9aMaj. Gen. Maurice Gateretse Burundiincumbent, December 2018Deputy Force Commander (Support & Logistics)[85]
9bMaj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai [86]
February 2018[87]February 2019Deputy Force Commander (Operations & Plans)
10aMaj. Gen. George Owinow
incumbent, September 2020Deputy Force Commander (Support & Logistics)[88]
10bLt. Gen. James Nakibus Lakara
February 2019[89]incumbentDeputy Force Commander (Operations & Plans)
11aMaj. Gen. Gerbi Kebede Regassa EthiopiaJanuary 2021incumbentDeputy Force Commander (Support & Logistics)[90]
Chiefs of Staff
1Col. Emmanuel Musinguzi[91]
2007?Initially this position was that of Chief Administration Officer for AMISOM.
2Col. Innocent Oula[92]
3Col. Simon Ocha
4Maj. Gen. Osman-Noor Soubagleh
mid-20122013The position was elevated to Force Chief of Staff in mid-2012, following the expansion of AMISOM through the inclusion of KDF forces.
5Brig. Gen. Cyprien Ndikuriyo Burundi2014
6Brig. Gen. Ayub Matiri[93]
7Brig. Gen. Kittila Bulti Tadesse[94] Ethiopia
8Brig. Gen. Kabisa Domitien[95] Burundiincumbent
1Capt. Paddy Ankunda[96]
March 2007February 2008
2Maj. Barigye Ba-Hoku[97]
February 20083 May 2011
3Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda[98][99]
3 May 20118 July 2012
4Col. Ali Aden Houmed
8 July 2012December 2014
5Lt. Col. Paul Njuguna
16 March 2015April 2016?
6Lt. Col. Joe Kibet[100]
April 2016April 2017?
7Lt. Col. Wilson Rono
April 2017April 2018
8Lt. Col. Richard Omwega
April 2018incumbent
Force organisation
Extent of AMISOM forces in Somalia.
On 15 October 2011 Kenyan forces crossed the border into Somalia to attack al-Shebaab. Subsequently UN Security Council resolution 2036 of 22 February 2012 authorised an increase in AMISOM troop numbers to 17,731 to incorporate the Kenyans.[101] This resolution took effect from mid-2012. At this time the initial Ugandan and Burundian AMISOM forces had been successful in largely clearing al-Shebaab militants from Mogadishu and the force was organised into new Sectors.[102]
Later, UN Security Council resolution 2124 of 12 November 2013 authorised a troop increase to 22,126 through inclusion of an Ethiopian contingent.[103] This took effect in January 2014, when the Sector organisation was modified to:[104]
In January 2017 Kismayo was mentioned as a separate sector – Sector 6 – under Colonel Paul Njema.[106] On 22 November 2017 AMISOM's twitter feed announced that Colonel Fréderic Ndayisaba of Burundi was replacing Colonel Paul K Njema of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) as Sector 6 Commander and described this command as a multinational sector composed of Burundian, Kenyan and Ethiopian troops based in Kismayo.
Ugandan contingents
a. Commanders
1Col. Peter Elwelu[107]March 2007February 2008With Col. Kyazze
2Col. Godfrey Golooba[108]February 2008
3Col. Jack Bakusumba[109]December 2008September 2009
4Col. Tumusiime Katsigazi[110]September 200918 June 2010
5Col. Michael Ondoga[111]18 June 20103 May 2011
6Brig. Gen. Paul Lokech[63]3 May 2011November 2012
7Brig. Gen. Michael Ondoga[112]November 201223 September 2013
Brig. Gen. Deus Sande[113]23 September 201325 September 2013Acting in role
8Brig. Gen. Dick Olum[113]25 September 2013October 2014
9Brig. Gen. Sam Kavuma[114]October 201429 November 2015
10Brig. Gen. Sam Okiding30 November 20153 January 2017[115]
11Brig. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga[116]3 January 2017[115]19 December 2017
12Brig. Gen. Paul Lokech[117]19 December 201721 December 2018
13Brig. Gen. Michael Kabango[118]21 December 2018
14Brig. Gen. Richard Otto[119]
15Brig. Gen. Don Nabasa[120]incumbent, January 2021
b. Battle groups
From the first deployment of Ugandan troops during March 2007—which saw a contingent of two battalions sent to Mogadishu—the UPDF contribution to AMISOM had by 2015 expanded to three battle groups, each of two or three battalions. The following table lists what details are known of the Ugandan battle groups, or 'Ugabag', deployed under AMISOM. The information presented has been collected from Ugandan press reports (largely gleaned from the website 'Allafrica.com') and news reports on the AMISOM website.
Battle GroupCommanderArr. SomaliaDep. SomaliaStrengthCompositionNotes
Ugabag ICol. Peter Elwelu[107]March 20071,700One infantry battalion (Col. Peter Elwelu) and one Armour/ Motorised Infantry battalion (Col. Kyazze)Lost five personnel?[121]
Ugabag IIDecember 2007November 200897 officers and 1,600 other ranksTwo battalions?Lost 3 soldiers with 11 wounded during 11-month deployment, although in total nine Ugandans and one Burundian died during the deployment.[122]
Ugabag IIICol. Jackson BakasumbaNovember/ December 2008August/ September 20091,700[122]
Ugabag IVCol. Tumusiime KatsigaziSeptember 20091,703Two battalions?[123]
Ugabag VMay 2010?1,650Two battalions?
Ugabag VICol. Ondogu although also given as Lt. Col. Francis ChemoApril 2010?January 2011Included 23 Bn (Lt. Col. Patrick Tibihwa, KIA Jun 2011)[124] and possibly also 19 Bn (Lt. Col. Anthony Lukwayo Mbuusi) and 69 Bn (Lt. Col. John Mugarula).Nine-month deployment. Lost ten personnel with 30 injured [125] Heavily involved in the battle for Mogadishu.[76]
Ugabag VIILt. Col. Justus BesisiraJanuary 20111,800Two battalions?[126]
Ugabag VIIICol. Kayanja Muhanga7 Bn, 29 Bn and 33 BnParticipated in Operation Free Shabelle, the May 2012 advance to Afgooye.[127]
Ugabag IXCol. Stephen Mugerwa, or Lt. Col. Frederick Akiiki Rugadya, or Lt. Col. Eugine SsebugwawoApril 2012May 20131,500 but also given as 2,369Participated in Operation Free Shabelle, the May 2012 advance to Afgooye. Reinforced? by Ugabag IX+ (Col. Stephen Mugerwa) which included 342 Bn (Lt. Col. John Katongole).[127]
Ugabag XCol. Edison Muwaguzi (or Muhanguzi), later charged and demotedOctober 201325 Bn (Maj. Sentamu), 39 Bn (Lt. Col. Wamale), 45 Bn (Maj. Ruziro)Replaced Ugabag 8.
Ugabag XICol. Joseph BalikudembeJanuary 2013February 20141,700Replaced Ugabag 9. Reinforced by 'Ugabag XI+' under Col. Hassan Kimbowa from May 2013?
Ugabag XIICol. Emmy Mulindwa[128]September/ October 2013October/ November 20142,93037 Bn (Maj. Lugira), 43 Bn (Maj. Ankankunda) and 61 Bn (Maj. Ojuga)Lost 17 personnel. Participated in Operation Indian Ocean, the August–October 2014 advance to Barawe.[129]
Ugabag XIIICol. William Bainomugisha, then Col. Ben SserwadaFebruary 2014June 2015
Ugabag XIVCol. Frank KyambaddeOctober/ November 2014November/ December 20152,754Lost 22 personnel. Based at Barawe. Replaced Ugabag 12.
Ugabag XVCol. Silvio AgumaApril 201635 Bn (Lt. Col. Paul Muhanguzi)Based at Arbiska. New battle group, making three in the UPDF contingent.
Ugabag XVICol. Bosco Mutambi then Col. Peter Omola GatilanoJune 2015July 20161,400Included 13 Bn (Maj. Mwesigye)[130]Battle group headquartered at Marka.[130] Company base near Janaale was overrun by al-Shabab on 1 September 2015, soon after the battle group's deployment to Somalia. Nineteen Ugandan troops were killed, one captured,[131] and 22 injured. This led to the replacement of the battle group commander and a later Board of Inquiry.[132]
Ugabag XVIICol. Bob OgikNovember 2015December 20162,777[133]Based at Barawe. Replaced Ugabag XIV.
Ugabag XVIIICol. Ronald BigirwaMarch/ April 2016April 2017[134]Based at Arbiska. Replaced Ugabag XV.
Ugabag XIXCol. Anthony Mbuusi LukwagoJuly 2016July 2017[135]Operated in the Marka area. Replaced Ugabag XVI.[136]
Ugabag XXCol. Bernerd Arinaitwe Tuhaise (Tuhame)[137]December 2016November 2017[93]2,7457 Bn, 69 Bn and one otherReplaced Ugabag XVII.[116]
Ugabag XXICol. Chris OgwalApril 2017April 2018[138]Replaced Ugabag XVIII.[139][134]
Ugabag XXIIJuly 20171 Bn and 19 Bn (Lt. Col. Robert Nahamya)[140]Replaced Ugabag XIX in the Marka area.[141] Later reported to be headquartered at Ceeljaale.[142][140]
Ugabag XXIIICol. Eriazile Zake OkolongNovember/ December 2017December 20182,400[143][144]
Ugabag XXIVCol. Jackson Kayanja[145]
Ugabag XXVCol. Paul Muwanguzi (or Muhanguzi)July 2018July 20191,406Replaced Ugabag XXII[146][147][148]
Ugabag XXVICol. Topher MaginoTo replace Ugabag XXIII.[149]
Ugabag XXVIICol. Sam Kosiya KutesaSeptember 2020[150]
Ugabag XXVIIICol. Wilberforce SserunkumaJuly 2019presentReplacing Ugabag XXV[151][152]
Ugabag XXIXCol. Edward Kaddu[153]
Ugabag XXXSeptember 20201,800[154]
Burundi contingents
a. Commanders
1Brig. Gen. Juvenal Niyoyunguruza[76]December 2007June 2009
2Brig. Gen. Prime Niyongabo[69]June 2009June 2010
3Brig. Gen. Maurice Gateretse[92]June 2010July 2011
4Col. Oscar Nzohabonimana[155]July 2011June 2012
5Col. Geard Bigirimana[156]June 2012July 2013
6Col. Jean Luc HabarugiraJuly 2013
7Col. Reverien Ndayambaje[157]
8Col. Venant BibonimanaJune 2016[158]
9Brig. Gen. Venuste Nduwayo11 July 2016[159]
10Brig. Gen. Victor NduwumukizaJune 2018[160]
11Brig. Gen. Leonidas NiyungekoJune 2018[160]
12Brig. Gen. Richard Banyakimbonaincumbent, September 2019[161]
13Brig. Gen. Telesphore Baranderekaincumbent, January 2021 [162]
b. Battalions
Burundi sent its first battalion to Mogadishu to join Ugandan troops in AMISOM in December 2007. It took until October 2008 to build the national contingent up to two battalions, due in part to a lack of equipment.[163] But subsequently the Burundi contingent increased to a six battalion force.[164] The Burundi force commitment is frequently cited as 5432 troops, which would align with a contingent of six battalions (of about 850 personnel each, the UN ‘standard’) together with headquarters and support elements.
40, 41 and 42 Battalions were scheduled for deployment in November 2016 but this was delayed. There was speculation this delay was a result of disappointment within Burundi over delays in EU payments in support of AMISOM and the suggestion by the EU that payments could be made directly to the Burundian troops rather than through the Burundi government; or domestic political tensions within Burundi arising from the president running for a third term of office.[173][174][175] By January 2017 the Burundi government threatened to withdraw its forces from Somalia altogether, arguing that these were a national contingent and not mere mercenaries, as would be suggested by the troops receiving payment directly from any third party.[176] Subsequently agreement was reached on the question of EU payments and it was announced the Burundi contingents would remain with AMISOM in Somalia.[177]
Ethiopian contingents
No.NameTook commandLeft command
1Brig. Gen. Gebremedhin Fikadu Hailu[182]January 2014
Kenyan contingents
Brig. Gen. Ngere in Dhobley, Somalia, September 2012.
1Brig. Gen. Anthony Mukundi Ngere[183]July 2012December 2013
2Brig. Gen. Walter Koipaton Raria[184]December 2013mid-2015
3Brig. Gen. Daniel C Bartonjo[185]mid-2015
4Brig. Gen. William Shume[186]
5Brig. Gen. Joakim Mwamburi[179]
6Brig. Gen. Dickson RutoFebruary 2020[187]
7Brig. Gen. Paul NjemaFebruary 2020incumbent[188]
Djiboutian contingents
No.CommanderTook commandLeft commandNotes
1Col. Osman Doubad[189][190]December 2011[191]Responsible for Sector 4, headquartered in Belet Weyne and covering Hiiraan and Galgaduud regions. While Col. Osman Doubad is given as Contingent Commander as late as January 2016, another senior officer, Col. Abdourahman Abdi Dhembil, was reported as 'Sector 4 Commander'.[192] Later, Col. Hassan Jama Farah was named as a Djibouti commander.[193]
Col. Mohamed Ibrahim MoussaFebruary 2019February 2020[194]
Col. Abdirahman Riyale HaredIncumbent, January 2021[195]
Sierra Leone contingent
No.CommanderArr. SomaliaDep. Somalia
1Col. Mamadi Mohamed Keita[196]April 20134 July 2013, on promotion[197]
2Brig. Gen. Tamba R. Allieu [198]July 2013?January 2015?
Later, during April 2018, a Formed Police Unit of 160 Sierra Leone Police was deployed to AMISOM under the command of Mustafa Solomon Kambeh.[208]
Civil staff
The civilian staff of AMISOM has been operating from Nairobi, Kenya since 2008 due to the security situation in Mogadishu.[209] As of now, they number approximately 81 personnel.
Since the beginning of 2011 AMISOM and TFG has taken control over several strategic places in Mogadishu after several offensives against Al-Shabaab.
With the expanded control over the capital AMISOM on 16 May 2011 moved the civil staff and police officers to Mogadishu. This includes Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia (SRCC) Ambassador Boubacar Gaoussou Diarra and deputy (SRCC) Honourable Wafula Wamunyinyi.[209]
Much of the key logistical support for the force is provided by the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA), a field mission of the UN Secretariat Department of Field Support.
The Civilian component is supervised by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia (SRCC) which is represented on the ground by Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif. who oversees the Political, Civil, Humanitarian, Gender and Public Information departments.
Ambassador Epiphanie Kabushemeye-Ntamwana is the civilian Chief of Staff.
The Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Kiguti heads the support component of the mission which includes administration personnel, finance and budgeting, logistics and procurement among other issues.
The Police contingent, which provides capacity building, both institutional and individual in support of the Somali Police Force, is headed by the AMISOM Police Commissioner Anand Pillay.
Training for contingents
The United States has provided extensive training for contingents headed for Somalia. In the first half of 2012, Force Recon Marines from Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 12 (SPMAGTF-12) trained soldiers from the Uganda People's Defence Force.[210] In the northern spring of 2012 [March–April–May], Marines from SPMAGTF-12 also trained Burundian soldiers. In April and May, members of Task Force Raptor, 3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard, took part in a separate training mission with the BNDF in Mudubugu, Burundi. SPMAGTF-12 has also sent its trainers to Djibouti, another nation involved in the Somali mission, to work with an army unit there.
At the same time, U.S. troops have assisted in training the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces in preparation for their deployment to Somalia later this year[when?]. In June 2012, U.S. Army Africa commander Major General David R. Hogg spoke encouragingly of the future of Sierra Leone's forces in conjunction with Kenya.[211] As of June 2012, the RSLAF troops have not yet deployed; the Sierra Leonean defence minister said on 23 June 2012, that the battalion might depart for the Horn 'some time in September [2012].'[212]
In addition, a significant amount of support to AMISOM has been provided by private companies. "Bancroft Global Development, headquartered on Washington's Embassy Row, employs about 40 South African and European trainers who work with [AMISOM's] Ugandan and Burundian troops.[213] Bancroft director Michael Stock told The EastAfrican that these mentors are embedded with AMISOM units in Mogadishu and southern and central Somalia. They coach commanders on ..how to predict and defeat the tactics which foreign fighters bring from outside East Africa and teach to al-Shabaab." Bancroft "does not receive funding directly from the US government but is instead paid by AMISOM, which is then reimbursed by the State Department for these outlays." The Associated Press reports that Bancroft has been paid $12.5 million for its work in Somalia since 2008.
A security analyst in Somalia listed three primary private security companies/private military companies operating in Mogadishu.[214] DynCorp, who provide logistical support in the Somali capital; Bancroft International, who provide training to TFG and AMISOM personnel, as well as assisting with community service delivery; and Pacific Architects & Engineers.
Troop numbers
CountryArmed personnel (current)Casualties
TroopsPoliceKilledMissing or captured
Uganda People's Defence Force
Burundi National Defence Force5,432[218]95+[216]4 missing,[219] 1 captured[220]
Ethiopian National Defense Force4,395[221]2+ (supposedly)[222]
Kenya Defence Forces
Djibouti Armed Forces
Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces
0 (formerly 850)* [230]47[231]1[230]
Nigeria Police Force200[232]
Ghana Police Service
* The reason why troops from Sierra Leone were withdrawn was the inability to rotate in fresh soldiers, due to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and the surrounding region. In response, Ethiopia has offered to replace the contingent from Sierra Leone with Ethiopian reinforcements.[235]
- The total number of personnel under AMISOM (including armed personnel and civil staff) is reportedly around 22,126.[78]
- Before joining AMISOM in January 2014, the Ethiopian Defense Force was believed to have an estimated 8,000 troops in the country.[56] It is also believed that some Ethiopian troops in Somalia operate independently from AMISOM.[236]
- Likewise, Kenya had troops deployed in Somalia independently before they were brought under the AMISOM umbrella
- Cameroon, Mali, Senegal, and Zambia were known to have a total of four personnel inserted into AMISOM. However, it is not known whether they were security or civil personnel.[45][237]
- Furthermore, there are also a small number of police officers from Burundi, Gambia, and Zimbabwe that are inserted into AMISOM[78]
Casualties and major incidents
According to SIPRI, 1,039 AMISOM soldiers were killed in action between 1 January 2009, and 31 December 2013, with an additional 69 fatalities in 2014 (per AMISOM) bringing the total to 1,108 dead from 2009 through 2014.[216]
March 2007 – February 2011
AMISOM medical facility records showed 110 Ugandan and 95 Burundian soldiers had died between March 2007 and February 2011 in Somalia. Another 798 AMISOM soldiers were wounded.[216] Some of the most deadliest incidents were:
March–December 2011
Sexual Exploitation and Abuses
Human Rights Watch investigation uncovers evidence of sexual exploitation of women. Western-backed African Union troops in Somalia gang-raped women and girls as young as 12 and traded food aid for sex, Human Rights Watch has said. An investigation uncovered evidence of sexual exploitation of women seeking medicine for sick babies at what they assumed was the safety of AU military bases. Human Rights Watch documented cases in a 71 page report published on 8 September 2014 with recommendations to the African Union, the United Nations, the Somali government and AMISOM donors UN, EU, UK and US. The African Union dismissed the Human Rights Watch claims as isolated cases. [342][343][344]

29 May 2020 The Security Council reauthorised the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) until 28 February 2021.[345]
See also
Wikimedia Commons has media related to African Union Mission to Somalia.
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Further reading
Paul D. Williams (2018). Fighting for Peace in Somalia: A History and Analysis of the African Union Mission (AMISOM), 2007-2017. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-872454-4.
External links
Last edited on 3 May 2021, at 15:41
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