Kenya, Ethiopia meet for Somali talks

2011-11-17 17:45

Addis Ababa - Ethiopian and Kenyan officials met on Thursday for talks on bolstering the African Union force protecting the Somali government, to help stabilise the war-wracked Horn of Africa state.

The talks took place at a meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa, a day after Kenya said it was willing to deploy soldiers for the AU Mission for Somalia (Amisom).

"In case a request is made, Kenya will avail a few of its battalions to join Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti to help keep peace in Somalia," Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula told the BBC.

"We would go there to keep peace within the context of Amisom. Kenyan troops would be under the command, the uniform and the hats of Amisom."

To date only Burundi and Uganda of the AU's 54 members have supplied troops to the 9 700 strong Amisom force, despite calls to spread the burden across more countries.

AU spokesperson Nissa Roguiai told AFP earlier the meeting would address a possible commitment of troops by Ethiopia to Somalia.

"It's only discussions, no consultations will be made. We're waiting for a commitment," she said.

Kenya has already acted in its own national interest by sending troops and tanks into southern Somalia to set up a buffer zone against the Shabaab militia which controls most of the country and is blamed for recent attacks and kidnappings in Kenyan tourist areas.

Following talks on Wednesday in Nairobi between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, Uganda's Yoweri Museveni and Somali leader Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Kibaki's office said in a statement that the meeting had "welcomed Kenya's willingness to deploy troops to Amisom".

More troop contributing countries


Ethiopia controversially invaded Somalia in 2006 with US backing, but pulled out three years later after failing to restore order in its long-lawless neighbour, which has lacked a functioning government for two decades.

Amisom, whose commanders have repeatedly called for reinforcements, is tasked with protecting Somalia's weak Western-backed government, whose control is largely restricted to the capital Mogadishu.

"We have been calling for more troop contributing countries for a long time," Uganda's Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretrary James Mugume told AFP, welcoming Kenya's announcement.

But Mugume explained that having two international forces - the Kenyan army and Amisom - operating separately in Somalia "could create difficulties" and consultations were under way to bring the Kenyan army under the AU banner.

"What they are looking at is bringing all of these forces together under the framework of Amisom," Mugume said.

Last year, the UN Security Council approved an additional 3 000 soldiers, but other countries have declined to stump up troops, although Djibouti and Sierra Leone have promised to send soldiers.

In addition to the Somali conflict, Thursday's meeting was also to discuss Democratic Republic of Congo's upcoming elections.

Read more on:    au  |  amisom  |  al-shabaab  |  mwai kibaki  |  yoweri museveni  |  sharif sheikh ahmed  |  kenya  |  somalia  |  uganda  |  ethiopia  |  burundi  |  djibouti  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Numsa prepares for life after Cosatu

Numsa has not only reiterated its call for President Jacob Zuma to resign but it is also preparing for life outside of Cosatu, a report states.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.