News / Africa

AMISOM Official Welcomes Expected Troop Increase

Spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda says the peacekeepers need the additional troops and what he calls “force enablers"

Ugandan peacekeepers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) patrol a road following an encounter with Islamist militia in the northern suburbs of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, January 20, 2012.
Ugandan peacekeepers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) patrol a road following an encounter with Islamist militia in the northern suburbs of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, January 20, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

A spokesman for the African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia, known as AMISOM, has welcomed the news that the U.N.Security Council will vote this week to increase the size of AMISOM forces from 12,000 to nearly 18,000.

AMISOM is battling the Somali militant group Al-Shabab, which warned over the weekend that it will step up its bombing campaign in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, spokesman for AMISOM, said the peacekeepers need the additional troops and what he calls “force enablers,” such as helicopters, maritime assets and engineers.

“We requested for an increment to at least 17,000 to deploy another 6,000 in other sectors of the country.  We need more force enablers; we need helicopters; we need maritime assets; we need engineers.  All these will be very, very crucial to help us launch phase two of the operation,” he said.

Ankunda said AMISOM welcomed the contribution of Kenyan troops in the fight against Al-Shabab and was anxiously awaiting the passage of the U.N. Security Council resolution.

“First of all, we welcome the Kenyan troops that were in the south.  What we need now is the United Nations Security Council resolution so that they can transfer to the A.U. Mission.  Now, the fact that they will be deploying in the south, that means that they help us launch more easily into Phase II, because Phase II we were supposed to take over part of south Somalia, including key Al-Shabab cities like Kismayo,” Ankunda said.

Al-Shabab warned over the weekend that it would step up its bombing campaign in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Ankunda said it would take some time for AMISOM to bring security to all of Somalia.

“It is not easy to ensure a 100 percent security for a country that has been at war for all these years.  Honestly speaking, once or twice these guys will go through the net and you will get a bomb going off in the wrong place. This is a country that is trying to recover from conflict.  Al-Shabab by now has spread in the population.  So it’s going to take a bit of time to completely wipe out this threat of improvised explosive devices,” Ankunda said.

He said he expects AMISOM to stay in Somalia even if the Somali Transitional Federal Government term expires some this year.

“I think, even if the transition ends, the A.U. mission will have to continue because there are still a lot of things that we have to do, including the transitional federal institutions, particularly the Somali army and the national police force,” Ankunda said.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More