News / Africa

AU Asks UN Security Council to Expand Somalia Mission

UN Security Council (file photo)
UN Security Council (file photo)
Margaret Besheer

An African Union delegation asked the United Nations Security Council Wednesday to approve the expansion of its mission in Somalia and provide it with logistical and other support it needs to crush Islamist insurgents who have challenged the transitional government and threatened peace and security in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

The African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ramtane Lamamra, asked the 15-member Security Council to approve increasing the African Union mission strength from the authorized 12,000 troops to a little more than 17,000.

He also asked the council, which provides funding for much of the mission known as AMISOM, to provide needed force enablers and multipliers, such as tactical and transport helicopters, as well as logistical support.

Lamamra noted that gains made on the ground by AMISOM and forces of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) must be protected and built upon. “For the first time in 20 years, almost the whole of Mogadishu is now under the control of the TFG.  In addition, military operations in other parts of the country by the TFG forces, with the support of Kenya and Ethiopia, have further weakened Al Shabaab extremists and other anti-peace elements,” Lamamra said.

AMISOM is made up of troops from Uganda and Burundi.  Djibouti recently joined the mission, sending 850 troops to AMISOM.  The Kenyan and Ethiopian forces Lamamra referred to are assisting in the south and east of Somalia, respectively, but are not currently part of the AU mission.  The AU plan would have the Kenyan troops “re-hatted” as part of the AMISOM mission, accounting for most of the 5,700 additional troops they are asking for.

But the Security Council will have several questions to consider before deciding whether to grant the AU’s request, including what are known as “command and control” issues.  Specifically, who would the Kenyan troops report to? There have been tensions, diplomats say, between Kenya and Uganda over whether the Kenyan troops would report to a Ugandan commander.

Paying the re-hatted Kenyan soldiers would also be a consideration.  Currently, the European Union pays the salaries of the nearly 10,000 AMISOM soldiers.  It is not clear whether in its current economic circumstances the EU would be ready to foot the bill for 6,000 more.

Diplomats say it will likely take a few weeks to work out the details of an expanded mission, which would have to be approved through a Security Council resolution.  Some diplomats say they would like the matter resolved before the British host a conference on Somalia in late February.

You May Like

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid