Wednesday Dec 14, 201112:40 AM GMT
UN chief urges more troops for Somalia
Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:34AM
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says it may be necessary to deploy more international troops to assist the transitional government of Somalia.

"On the military front, we must not exclude the incorporation of new forces and the expansion of AMISOM [African Union Mission in Somalia]," Ban was quoted by AFP as telling a UN Security Council meeting on the war-torn African nation on Tuesday.

"In the meantime, I echo AU (African Union) and AMISOM troop contributors and ask you to reconsider the financial and logistical arrangements for supporting AMISOM operations," he added.

AMISOM has been mandated by the UN to send up to 12,000 troops to Somalia, but African nations on the Security Council have asked for more military contribution and financing .

The AU has called on the UN to increase its troop mandate to 20,000.

This comes as the major international powers have expressed reluctance about contributing more military or financial assistance to AMISOM.

Last week, UN secretary general made an official trip to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, to hold talks with senior TFG officials over a stabilization process for the war-ravaged Horn of Africa country.

The visit marked the first by a UN chief since 1993 to a country known for a seemingly perpetual state of war.

He finally noted that he was working with the AU and regional governments "to develop coherent military planning in [Somalia].”

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Security in the Horn of Africa state has been buffeted by violence over the past few years as al-Shabab militants battle the country's UN-backed transitional government.


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