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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid