News / Africa

UN Increases Troops for AU Somalia Force

A soldier in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) takes his position during fighting between Islamists and government forces in southern Mogadishu, February 14, 2012.
A soldier in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) takes his position during fighting between Islamists and government forces in southern Mogadishu, February 14, 2012.
Margaret Besheer

The United Nations Security Council has authorized an increase in troop strength for the African Union force in Somalia, known as AMISOM. The move is aimed at capitalizing on gains made in fighting al-Shabab militants and to increase military pressure on the fighters.  The move comes a day ahead of an international summit on Somalia in the British capital.

The 15-nation Security Council raised the troop ceiling from 12,000 to nearly 18,000. Funding and logistical support to the force was also increased, doubling U.N. member state contributions for the mission from $250 million to about $550 million.

Wednesday’s adoption of Resolution 2036 comes a day ahead of a major international summit hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron in London intended to seek a lasting political solution in Somalia, which has been plagued by instability and violence for over 20 years.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters after the vote that the resolution sends a strong political message of support for developing Somalia’s national forces and makes clear that the period of political transition will end in August.

He also underscored that the African Union force will have a stronger hand in dealing with al-Shabab militants because of the resolution.

“It also strengthens the mandate of AMISOM and for the first time, it authorizes AMISOM to use 'all necessary means' to reduce the threat from al-Shabab and therefore to conduct more robust and offensive operations,” said Grant.

The resolution also bans the export of charcoal from Somalia - a major source of revenue for al-Shabab. But it does not authorize an additional maritime component, which U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said was regrettable, as the United States believes it would be valuable in achieving the mission’s overall goals.

Somali government forces and AMISOM have pushed al-Shabab out of Mogadishu and have made gains in other parts of the country.

AMISOM is made up primarily of troops from Uganda and Burundi.  Several thousand Kenyan troops recently deployed to Somalia, and they will now become part of the expanded troop strength of AMISOM.  

There are also several thousand Ethiopian troops in Somalia fighting al-Shabab forces.  Those troops helped the government seize the town of Baidoa Wednesday.

You May Like

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid