News / Africa

    UN: Up to 3,000 AU Soldiers Killed in Somalia

    Member of Ugandan contingent of AMISOM forces during advance with Somali National Army to Baidoa from Ballidoogole airbase, Somalia, Oct. 18, 2012.
    Member of Ugandan contingent of AMISOM forces during advance with Somali National Army to Baidoa from Ballidoogole airbase, Somalia, Oct. 18, 2012.
    VOA News
    A top U.N. official says up to 3,000 African Union soldiers have been killed in Somalia over the past few years fighting the Islamist insurgency.
     
    U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson gave the death toll at a news conference Thursday at U.N. headquarters.
     
    U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson during news conference, Beijing, Feb. 22, 2013.U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson during news conference, Beijing, Feb. 22, 2013.
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    U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson during news conference, Beijing, Feb. 22, 2013.
    U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson during news conference, Beijing, Feb. 22, 2013.
    Eliasson said Uganda and Burundi, which supplied most of the troops for the AU force, "have paid a tremendous price."
     
    A spokesman for the force, Ali Aden Hamoud, says he cannot confirm or deny the death toll.
     
    "That responsibility belongs to each one of those contingents, or troop-contributing countries," he said.
     
    Over the past two years, AU troops, working with Somali and Ethiopian forces, have forced militant group al-Shabab out of southern Somali towns and cities they once controlled.
     
    Eliasson said the al-Shabab threat has receded but still exists and that the AU force, known as AMISOM, still "plays an absolutely crucial role" in Somalia.
     
    AU soldiers arrived in Somalia in 2007 and were involved in heavy fighting with al-Shabab in Mogadishu for several years.
     
    The capital is largely calm these days, although al-Shabab still carries out periodic attacks like a suicide bombing last Sunday that killed eight people.
     
    The East African nation is attempting to emerge from more than 20 years of chaos and war under a new government formed last year. Donor nations pledged $300 million for security in Somalia at a conference in London this week.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: DAVID
    May 11, 2013 12:59 AM
    Sadly, I dont think the World is concerned at all, just look back to Rhodesia and how she was abandoned, Faced sanctions by many Countries, including a naval blockade. The rest is history but at what cost - brave people whose sacrifices were immense as they endured numerous hardships and ultimately abandoned.


    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    May 10, 2013 12:14 PM
    May these 3000 courageous victims, of the henious Islamists, rest in peace. The world owes thanks to their countries and families, for their sacrifice in trying to stabilize Somalia. Let us hope their sacrifice will change the lives of normal Somali people, for the better.

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