Wednesday, September 28, 2011

African Union to Deploy 3000 More Troops to Somalia

AU to deploy 3000 more troops in Somalia

Monday 26 September 2011 - 10:36
Yarrow Hassan, AfricaNews reporter in Nairobi, Kenya

The African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) is planning to beef up its troops to the Horn of African with 3,000 more before December this year, a senior AU official told AfricaNews. The Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSCRCC) for Somalia Wafula Wamunyinyi said the additional soldiers will help implement the current roadmap that seeks to put the entire nation under effective control of the Transitional Federal Government.

'The additional troops will come from other African nations including Sierra Leone and Djibouti in order to boost the capability of the 9,000 AMISOM troops currently present,' Wamunyinyi said.

He said Djibouti is set to contribute a battalion of troops as well as trainers while Sierra Leone will only supply a battalion, he added.

Already 95 percent of the Somalia's capital Mogadishu is under the control of AU troops and they will help extend the strength of the armed forces, he added.

'We plan to extend our control to the environs of the Mogadishu and eventually to entire country including all the strongholds of extremist's forces,' Wamunyinyi who is also head of AMISOM troops in Somalia said.

The African Union is committed to bring stability to the war- torn Somalia which has been in the state of lawlessness for the past 20 years.

'Our personnel are regularly attacked by anti-government forces and this new addition will help buffer our forces currently acting as a stabilization force in the country,' he added.

AMISOM troops are also helping to train local Somalia army to gradually take over the security of their county.

In a separate interview with AfricaNews Rwanda ambassador to Kenya Mr George Kayonga said Rwanda is committed to provide technical support to the AMISOM forces as they try to secure in Somalia.

'The additional forces will be used to fill the vacuum caused by the lack of the effective government in the country,' Kayonga said.

The forces which were deployed in 2007 are bringing hope to the horn of African nation, the ambassador added.

Currently in Mogadishu the AU forces are mandated to provide escort and protection to humanitarian agencies that are providing relief food to combat the current famine.

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