UNITED NATIONS – The African Union’s multinational peacekeeping force in Somalia is shrinking slightly by the end of the year as it heads toward planned withdrawal from the country by 2020.
The United Nations Security Council renewed the decade-old mission Wednesday until the end of next May. The renewal makes some changes that reflect efforts to start handing over security responsibilities to Somali forces.
It trims the more than 22,000-strong force, known as AMISOM , by 500 troops by the end of this year. It cuts 1,000 more troops by the end of October 2018 or possibly sooner.
Somalia is trying to rebuild after more than two decades as a failed state riven by conflict, famine and attacks by the al-Shabab Islamic extremist group. AMISOM has been supporting the fragile central government.