UN Calls For More Troops In Somalia

The United Nations has called for an increase in the number of African Union troop deployed in Somalia to tackle the terror group Al Shabaab.

Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson (2nd left) chats with medical staff from the Ugandan contingent serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) during a visit on 27 October 2013. Photo: AU/UN IST/ Stuart Price
Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson (2nd left) chats with medical staff from the Ugandan contingent serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) during a visit on 27 October 2013. Photo: AU/UN IST/ Stuart Price

In a report to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon recommended an increase of 6,235 uniformed support workers assigned to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The increase would bring the total number of troops and AMISOM administrative personnel to nearly 24,000.

This appeal by the UN chief comes weeks after the African Union endorsed a move to boost its Somalia force by 35 percent to step up its fight against Al Qaeda-linked Shabaab rebels.

Ban Ki-Moon also asked UN member-states to urgently supply AMISOM with helicopters and other weapons presently unavailable to the Kenyan, Ugandan, Burundian and Sierra Leonean troops that make up the current force.

Uganda is the biggest contributor to the AU force of about 18,000.

The force, funded mainly by the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) is fighting the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia.

Reporting on his recent visit to Kenya and Somalia, UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson told the Security Council that after 18 months of successful operations that uprooted Al-Shabaab from major cities, the campaign by AMISOM and Somali forces has stalled, in recent months.

“Without a sufficient level of security, what we have worked so hard for could be sacrificed,” Jan Eliasson, who just returned from a visit to the capital city of Mogadishu, said in a briefing to the Council.

Ban Ki-Moon cited the terror attack at the Westgate Mall, which occurred on 21st September, warning that the silence has allowed Al-Shabaab to prepare more ambitious complex attacks.

Somalia has been torn asunder by factional fighting since 1991 but has recently made progress towards stability. In 2011, Al-Shabaab insurgents retreated from Mogadishu and last year, new Government institutions emerged, as the country ended a transitional phase toward setting up a permanent, democratically-elected Government.

Additional Reporting By Agencies

1 thought on “UN Calls For More Troops In Somalia

  1. More troops in Somalia is not the solution. It will not work. The real solution to Somalia is for the foreign invaders to leave that country. If you think this is wrong, go and talk to the US Army. The most powerful army on earth deployed hundreds of thousands of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and tried to impose their order on those countries but they failed. They could not even restore the peace they destroyed by waging wars in those countries. Until today, the two countries are not peaceful, despite years of US military combat with what they always want to call “terrorists”. If you clearly observe who is in charge in Afghanistan, its not the ruling government forces. The huge proportion of that country is in the hands of the Taliban. Why hasn’t the US army decisively won the Taliban in a war that has lasted over a decade? Why is there no peace in Afghanistan despite billions of money spent on facilitating foreign occupiers? These are living examples of how the idea of foreign intervention is a waste of time. So even in Somalia, the UN, AU, etc etc. are wasting time with deploying foreign armies. It wont work. Peace will never be imposed on that country by foreigners. The logical thing to do is to leave that country. The Somalis will settle their issues in their country. Yes, they might fight and kill each other following the immediate withdrawal of foreign forces, but that won’t be the case for ever. They will ultimately, settle the political and security questions in their country much sooner than what foreign forces can ever do.

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