News / Africa

UN Mulls Additional Troops for Somalia

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces secure scene of suicide bombing outside the United Nations compound, Mogadishu, June 19, 2013.
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces secure scene of suicide bombing outside the United Nations compound, Mogadishu, June 19, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
The U.N. Security Council is considering authorizing 4,000 additional troops for African Union operations in Somalia, where Somali and African forces are battling al-Shabab militants.
 
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is supporting the African Union request for a short-term surge to bolster its nearly 18,000-strong AMISOM force, which would receive an additional three infantry battalions totaling 2,550 troops, and support units of nearly 2,000 additional uniformed personnel.
 
Although AMISOM is an African Union mission, it operates under a U.N. mandate with international financing.
 
The troops would be deployed for 18 to 24 months to reinvigorate efforts to eliminate al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda-linked militant organization that claimed responsibility for last month's terror attack at a Kenyan shopping mall that killed more than 60 civilians.
 
The group has been weakened but continues to recruit substantial numbers of fighters and carry out attacks.
 
According to U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, who briefed the Security Council Wednesday following a two-day visit to Mogadishu, although 18 months of successful operations have uprooted al-Shabab in major cities, the campaign by AMISOM and Somali forces has recently ground to a halt.
 
“The AMISOM Force Commander told me that neither AMISOM nor the Somali army has the capacity to push beyond areas already recovered," he said. "Their hold of the existing territory would be tenuous if the current status quo continues, he claimed.”
 
Eliasson said a temporary boost is needed to hold gains and respond to evolving threats from the extremists.
 
“The recommended enhancements for AMISOM, including helicopters and other enablers, will allow the force to regain the initiative against the insurgency and to recover strategic locations that are exploited by al-Shabab to generate revenue, and to recruit and train combatants.”
 
The secretariat is also seeking non-lethal and logistical support for the Somali government's forces, including transport, tents, food, fuel, and medical support.
 
Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minster Fawzia Yusuf Adam urged the Security Council to support the request to bolster the Somali army, saying it is necessary to enhance their capacity so they can defeat al-Shabab.
 
A resolution drafted by Britain authorizing the temporary troop increase and support for Somali forces is expected to be circulated later this week among Council members. It may come to a vote by mid-November.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid