(AFP) – Dec 22, 2010
UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council on Wednesday voted to increase by half the number of African Union peacekeepers supporting Somalia's transitional government against Al-Qaeda-inspired rebels.
The council called on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to increase troops from 8,000 to 12,000, a move aimed at "enhancing its ability to carry out its mandate" of stabilizing the lawless, war-battered country.
The council also expressed "its condemnation in the strongest terms of all acts of violence, abuses, and human rights violations committed against civilians, including women and children."
Ruhakana Rugunda from Uganda, a non-permanent Security Council member nation, said that his country was ready to provide the 4,000 extra soldiers.
Last week a Somali minister told reporters at the UN that the transitional government now controls more than half of the capital Mogadishu and that more AMISOM troops would be used to expand control across the country.
Abdulkareem Hassan Jama called the AMISOM presence "critical," adding that African Union, Somali army and transitional government forces control 55 percent of Mogadishu, where between 70 and 80 percent of residents live.
But he said there are "vast ghost zones" in the areas controlled by the Islamist rebel group Shebab.
Somalia was plunged into chaos in 1991 following the ouster of former president Mohamed Siad Barre and has been gripped by civil war and without a functioning national government for nearly two decades.
Copyright © 2014 AFP. All rights reserved. More »