News / Africa

AU: Kampala Bombs Will Not Affect Somalia Peacekeeping

Ugandan police inspect the destroyed Ethiopian Village restaurant in Kampala after twin bomb blasts late on 11 Jul 2010 tore through crowds of football fans, killing 64 people, 11 Jul 2010
Ugandan police inspect the destroyed Ethiopian Village restaurant in Kampala after twin bomb blasts late on 11 Jul 2010 tore through crowds of football fans, killing 64 people, 11 Jul 2010

Africa's top security official says the deadly bomb attacks in Kampala have strengthened the continent's resolve to root out al-Qaida-linked elements in Somalia. The African Union is preparing to send reinforcements from Uganda and other countries to bring its Somalia peacekeeping mission up to full strength.

AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra sees clear ties between the twin bomb blasts and Uganda's support for Somalia's embattled government.

"There are linkages between what is happening in Kampala and the fact that this country is very much engaged in peacemaking and peacekeeping in Somalia," he said.

The Somali insurgent group al-Shabab last week condemned plans by six East African countries to send reinforcements to shore up the AU peacekeeping mission known as AMISOM.  Uganda is the largest contributor to the 5,000-member AMISOM force, and is preparing to increase its troop commitment.

In a telephone interview, Lamamra says the terrorist attack fits the pattern of al-Shabab and other foreign-backed groups hoping to establish Somalia as a base of operations for Islamic extremists.

"The modus operandi is very much similar to that of al-Qaida, and circumstances also lead us to believe that al-Qaida is involved directly or through al-Shabab," he said.

Lamamra says the Kampala bombings will not dent the resolve of other countries in the region to bring the AMISOM peacekeeping mission up to its full authorized strength of 8,000.

"We will be submitting a report to the [AU] Peace and Security Council in the near future to say the authorized  strength of 8,000 has been duly reached.  Uganda is willing to remain there until such a time as the mission is fully accomplished," said Lamamra.

East African regional bloc the Intergovernmental Authority on Development this month said 20,000 troops might be needed to save Somalia from falling into the hands of extremists.  That word came at an extraordinary six-country summit following news reports that Somali government forces and peacekeepers were hemmed in to a few square blocks of Mogadishu.  

But Commissioner Lamamra dismissed those reports as propaganda.

"If you listen to the propaganda of al-Shabab, Somalia would have been under their full rule some time ago," he said.  "That is purely propaganda. AMISOM is holding the ground together with the Somali security forces, and I believe there is no way Shabab could take over Mogadishu and overthrow the legitimate government of Sheikh Sharif," Lamamra added.

A spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council called the Kampala attacks 'cowardly and deplorable', and said Washington is ready to assist Uganda in any way possible.

The United States, along with the European Union and the United Nations, provide the bulk of the financial and military support to Somalia's transitional government.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


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