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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid