News / Africa

AU Tells Somalia's Leaders to Get Serious

African Union diplomats are telling Somalia's feuding leaders to "get serious" if they want international help in battling al-Qaida linked terror groups. Africa's top security body heard a dire assessment of Somalia ahead of a crisis meeting at the United Nations.

Amid mounting reports of deteriorating conditions in Somalia, the AU Peace and Security Council issued an urgent plea for member states to make good on promises to come to the aid of the country's Transitional Federal Government. Equatorial Guinea's AU ambassador Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue is the Council chairman for September.

"We are very very deeply concerned about the situation in Somalia. We have decided to ask direct member states to to do their contribution in all areas, otherwise it's a problem that affects our collective security," said Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue.

Hours before a crisis meeting at UN headquarters called by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Ambassador Mangue called on Somalia's feuding leaders to show seriousness in the face of an imminent threat of a takeover by al-Qaida linked terror groups.

"The country is occupied by the terrorists, it's occupied. It's a real occupation. Now the big bad news we have got today is the increasing misunderstanding inside the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia," added Mangue. "They have to be united and they have to understand that if Africa and the international community will not see seriousness and engagement among themselves that will not be good. A nation like Somalia cannot be in conflict for decades."

"AU Deputy Special Representative for Somalia Diarra Boubacar briefed the Council. He said this week's resignation of Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke underscores the TFG's weakness, further undermining efforts to win international backing for efforts to defeat extremists militias controlling much of the country.

"It is this lack of cohesion within the TFG institutions. The lack of cohesion is a big problem for us," said Boubacar. "We need more comprehension [within] the TFG of its role to install security on the ground. I think also a big concern is the terrorism we face on the ground coming from al-Shabab."

News from Mogadishu Thursday told of clashes in two city suburbs between forces loyal to the government and al-Shabab rebels, and heavy shelling in the city's main market. Scores of people were said to have been killed and injured, though exact numbers were impossible to verify.

The African Union maintains a 7,200 strong peacekeeping mission in Somalia to reinforce the outmanned government security forces. The mission is made up largely of Ugandan and Burundian troops.

Efforts to solicit troop contributions from other African nations have been mostly unsuccessful, An ambassador representing a country with one of Africa's largest armies, when asked about a possible troop deployment, said "it's just too big a challenge".

The envoy, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the international community's hesitation to engage is a reflection of the difficulty of conditions on the ground. He said there would be little appetite for sending troops unless peackeepers were given a stronger mandate, allowing them to pursue and drive out insurgents.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs