Sign in to follow this  

FUFUs to be deployed in Somalia

Recommended Posts

Kampala - A controversial 10 000-strong regional peacekeeping force planned for Somalia will deploy across the country except in the breakaway region of Somaliland, a senior Ugandan military officer has said.


"The force will deploy throughout Somalia, from Puntland all the way to the south, but not in Somaliland," the officer said after meetings of east African military experts at which the eight-battalion deployment was worked out.


Somalia has been without any functioning central authority for the past 14 years but the region of Somaliland has established its own governmental structures and claims independence from the rest of the war-shattered nation.






The officer said the first phase of the proposed deployment, which has been recommended to begin on April 30, would see three-and-half battalions of troops sent to lawless Somalia to assist the country's transitional government relocate there from exile in Kenya.


Somalia has been without a functioning central authority for 14 years

The first peacekeepers to go would include a battalion each from Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia and a half battalion from Djibouti, he said on condition of anonymity.


He stressed that the proposal, presented by defence chiefs from the seven-nation Inter-Governmental Authority on Development on Monday, still had to be approved by IGAD foreign ministers.


The officer added that the proposal did not take into account strong opposition from some Somali warlords and Islamic clerics to the participation in the force of troops from Ethiopia and Djibouti.


Those two countries, as well as Kenya, are seen by opponents as having ulterior motives in Somalia.


"The foreign ministers will handle those policy matters," the officer said. "We wrote down the concept and it is them to decide the implementation policy."


However, on Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the current chair of IGAD, said the force, to be known as the IGAD Peace Support Mission for Somalia, would deploy with or without the support of the warlords.


"We are going to deploy with or without the support of the warlords," Museveni told defence ministers from IGAD, which comprises Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and nominally Somalia. - Sapa-AFP




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Uganda's president presses African countries to send troops to Somalia

Print E-Mail

March 14, 2005 12:39pm

AP Online



ENTEBBE, Uganda_President Yoweri Museveni on Monday pressed African countries to send troops to secure Somalia's transitional government as it returns home from exile in Kenya _ even without the support of Somali warlords who presently control the country.




"Somalia has suffered for the past 14 years and we have to deploy troops with or without the support of warlords," Museveni told defense ministers and officials from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development that is planning to send a regional peace support mission ahead of a fuller peacekeeping force.


"For the warlords to say that they are protecting the people and yet they have guns and are holding these people hostage is wrong," said Museveni, who heads the seven-nation regional group. "It is a shame for one of the ancient races in Africa to suffer for so long as we are looking on."


The defense officials later agreed to send 6,800 troops to Somalia, including some from Ethiopia and Djibouti, for a mission that would last for nine months as the African Union gathers a fuller peacekeeping force.


The troops will deploy to all regions of Somalia, excluding the breakaway republic of Somaliland, beginning at the end of April, Lt. Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, Uganda's army chief, told reporters. The decision must be endorsed by foreign ministers who will meet in Kenya on April 16-17.


The decision, however, is likely to raise tensions in Somalia, where Warlords-turned-Cabinet ministers have said they are prepared to accept peacekeepers from the African Union and the Arab League _ but not troops from neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya.


They, along with Islamic clerics, some Somali residents and the U.S. State Department have warned that sending troops from the neighboring countries would derail fragile efforts to end a 14-year civil war the Horn of Africa nation.


Warlords and lawmakers from a clan that controls the capital on Sunday offered to withdraw 15,000 militia fighters from Mogadishu to guarantee the security of the country's government _ but only if troops from neighboring countries are not sent.


Ethiopia actively supported Somali factions with money and weapons in the civil war that started in 1991, and its troops could seek to advance Ethiopian interests if deployed in the Horn of Africa nation, some Somali lawmakers said.


Somalis also remember the war they lost in 1977 over control of Ethiopia's southeastern ****** region, largely inhabited by ethnic Somalis. The Somali army never recovered from the defeat, a fact that eventually helped warlords to overthrow dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.


Somalia's government is based in neighboring Kenya because Mogadishu is considered unsafe.


Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi's Cabinet asked the African Union and Arab League earlier this month to send between 5,000 and 7,500 troops with a one-year mandate to protect the government as it organizes a police force and army.


The AU Peace and Security Council authorized deployment of an interim force ahead of a fuller AU mission.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this