Wednesday, August 29, 2007

AU Somalia mission extended

Ugandan troops have been charged with keeping
peace in Somalia's capital [EP
The UN Security Council has agreed the renewal of the African Union's peacekeeping mandate in Somalia.

On Monday, the 15-members council unanimously backed the resolution, tabled by Britain, to extend the mandate of the force of about 1,700 Ugandan soldiers, by six months

The UN has backed away from committing its
troops to Somalia, though the Ugandan force is
believed to be weak and under-funded.

Dumisani Kumalo, South Africa's ambassador to the UN, voiced disappointment at the resolution, saying: "I would like to see the UN deploy in Somalia."

The AU is doing a job that the UN is supposed to be doing."
There have been almost daily attacks in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, since
government-forces, backing Ethiopian troops, drove out Islamic Courts and opposition
fighters.Hundreds of people have died since the beginning of the year.

The Ugandans are due soon to be bolstered by 1,500 AU troops from Burundi, but
the African bloc wants the UN to take over when its mandate expires at the end
of this year.
But UN countries at an earlier Security Council meeting in August said they were
unwilling to commit to such a move.

The recent extension to the AU mandate was approved by the them in July but
needed the authority of the UN Security Council to go ahead.

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