News / Africa

Troop Surge Could End Al-Shabab Insurgency, Says AU Official

U.N Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson (2nd L) speaks with medical staff from the Ugandan Contingent serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia, in Mogadishu October 27, 2013 (U.N. photo/Stuart Price).
U.N Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson (2nd L) speaks with medical staff from the Ugandan Contingent serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia, in Mogadishu October 27, 2013 (U.N. photo/Stuart Price).
Peter Clottey
The United Nations approval of the troop surge in Somalia will help the African Union’s goal of defeating hard line Islamic group al-Shabab in East Africa, according to Erastus Mwencha, the AU’s deputy chairman.

He said the strengthening of African Union troops (AMISOM) and support for the Somalia national army will make it possible to intensify the military campaign against the militants and expand the authority of the Somalia government.  It will also facilitate the political process, which will culminate in the adoption of a federal constitution and the holding of elections.
 
Mwencha outlined the rationale behind the AU’s decision to seek the UN Security Council’s approval for a troops surge in Somalia.
         
“The reason for requesting this is that the [progress] that Africa had made in dismantling al-Shabab was starting to recede following al-Shaba’s regrouping in some of the areas the African forces had combed through,” said Mwencha. “We have also seen that al-Shabab was responsible for the attack that happened [last month] in Nairobi.”
 
Mwencha said the recent Westgate Mall attack in Kenya that left as least 67 people dead and scores injured shows the urgency of ending terrorism carried out by the group. 

AMISOM has succeeded in driving out al-Shabab militants from the capital, Mogadishu and some surrounding areas, but the group still controls some southern parts of the country.

“There is need to contain al-Shabab and to clean up. There is need for an increased presence of African forces. So, we are grateful to the Security Council for acceding to this request, and we hope that deployment can take place soon. So [we hope] this resurgence of al-Shabab can be finished, but also continue to help Somalia gain its own capacity to take care of its own security,” said Mwencha.

The AU initially asked that its troops in Somalia be increased to 26,000. Mwencha said after consultations with the Security Council the force would be two or three thousand less than the number requested.

 “We hope that if they are well equipped, they should be able to give support to the current forces and help finish the job,” he said.

Currently, there are about 17,731 AMISOM uniformed personnel including both troops and police, along with a Force Headquarters staff of 81. The military component has 5,432 troops from Burundi, 1,000 from Djibouti, 3,664 from Kenya, 850 Sierra Leone and 6,223 troops from Uganda.

Mwencha said the AU is satisfied with the UN’s decision to authorize an increase in AU troop strength in Somalia. He also underscored the importance of the surge and how it could thwart the militant group’s terrorist attacks.

“You’ve seen that there are training cells or camps inside Somalia and the challenge has been that even as the current forces in Somalia comb through [and liberate] some areas, the they don’t have enough capacity to continue to monitor and stabilize them,” said Mwencha.

“Stabilizing Somalia would mean strengthening the Somali forces, helping bring about reconciliation, and getting [the government] to focus on development issues, so that it can secure its own territory and its own capacity,” said Mwencha.

Clottey interview with Erastus Mwencha, AU deputy chairman
Clottey interview with Erastus Mwencha, AU deputy chairmani
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Elusive Deal With Iran Could Yield Foreign Policy Legacy for Obama

A new Iranian leader -- and a strategic shift by the United States -- opens narrow window for nuclear agreement with Tehran More

Column: Saudi-Iran Meeting Could Boost Fight Against Islamic State

The fact that Iranians and Saudis are talking again does not guarantee a breakthrough, but it could make it easier to build a broad coalition against IS More

Thai Ruler Gives Top Cabinet Posts to Junta Inner Circle

Thailand's army chief has kept an iron grip on power as he extends the government, hand-picking an interim parliament that subsequently nominated him prime minister More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
November 15, 2013 12:26 AM
Why troops from so called "Muslim" countries are not coming in Somalia?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid