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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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 Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs