News / Africa

UN Chief: More Troops May Be Necessary for Somalia

Somali Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden, far left, and Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, 2nd left, greet UN General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, right, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center, visits the Somali Pr
Somali Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden, far left, and Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, 2nd left, greet UN General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, right, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center, visits the Somali Pr
Margaret Besheer

Just back from a visit to Somalia's capital, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the retreat of militant groups such as al-Shabab from Mogadishu presents an opportunity to stabilize the country. Ban also told the U.N. Security Council Tuesday that additional troops might be required to secure these military gains. 

On Friday, Ban paid a lightning visit to Mogadishu - the first time a U.N. chief has visited the war-torn country in more than 18 years.

“That my visit was even possible is a sign of improved security and the investment that the United Nations has made in supporting the African Union Mission in Somalia,” he said.

He said that all districts in the city are effectively under the control of the Transitional Federal Government, with the assistance of some 9,000 African Union troops from Uganda and Burundi which make up the force known as AMISOM.

He also emphasized the pullout from the capital of Islamist insurgents, particularly al-Shabab, which he said are retreating under growing pressure from government forces and their militia allies, which are backed by troops from Kenya and Ethiopia.

The secretary-general said the gains made by these forces must be secured beyond the capital.

“That requires AMISOM to deploy at its full strength of 12,000 troops," said Ban. "It also demands the necessary force enablers, including air assets, like helicopters, and military engineering capabilities.”

Ban told the 15-member Security Council that additional forces beyond the authorized 12,000 might be required in order for the military strategy to be successful across Somalia.

“On the military front, we must not exclude the incorporation of new forces and the expansion of AMISOM," said Ban. "We are undertaking a joint assessment on the ground and will revert to this Council with a proposal.”

While in the region last week, Ban also visited the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya which hosts nearly a half-million Somali refugees. Nearly half of them have been displaced this year due to both insecurity and famine.

Ban said assistance from the international community has saved hundreds of thousands of lives and that parts of southern Somalia have been lifted out of famine. But he warned that millions of people remain in danger of starvation.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs