US to boost aid for troops

2010-07-21 11:10

Washington – The US military is looking for ways to expand the training and equipping of African forces to help battle al-Shabaab militants in Somalia who claimed responsibility for recent bombings in Uganda, a top commander said on Tuesday.

Army General William "Kip" Ward said the African nations who are contributing forces in Somalia remain committed to the peacekeeping effort there despite the attacks last week that killed 76 people.

Al-Shabaab, which has links to al-Qaeda, has threatened more attacks in what worried officials see as the first moves to expand its violence beyond Somalia's borders. The group has said that the bombings were revenge for Uganda's deployment of peacekeepers in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, with the AU force, known as Amisom.

Speaking to a gathering at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Ward said the unrest in Africa creates a security threat to other nations, including the US.

"Violent extremism can grow unchecked in the Horn of Africa and across the Sahel, leading to attacks against US persons and interests around the world, or, in the worst case, against the US homeland," said Ward, who is the head of US Africa Command.

The US, which maintains troops at a base in nearby Djibouti, has not sent forces into Somalia, but instead works through the AU. Direct US or other foreign involvement in Somalia's internal affairs, said Ward, would be "an irritant and a distraction".

Overburdened

But Ward acknowledged that while a number of African nations are willing to participate in peacekeeping efforts, they may be overburdened. The US, he said, must help those countries reinforce their security capabilities.

Somalia has been without a functioning government for nearly 20 years, and militants control much of the country's southern and central regions, including large portions of Mogadishu.

US officials say insurgents, including a number of foreign fighters from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, gather and train in Somalia's vast lawless regions.

The Pentagon, said Ward, is looking for ways to expand the aid it already is providing the African nations, including additional training, equipment, logistical support and transportation for the troops there. He did not provide details and said decisions have not yet been made.

The leader of al-Shabaab, Sheikh Muktar Abu Zubayr, released an audio message saying that more attacks would be carried out in Uganda and Burundi.

There currently are more than 5 000 AU troops in Mogadishu from those two nations. African officials have said that as many as 20 000 more troops are needed.

The twin bombings struck as people watched the World Cup football final on television.

- AP

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  somalia  |  uganda  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

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
 
  • Saturday Hout Bay - 07:06 AM
    Road name: Chapmans Peak Drive
    ROAD CLOSED until 1400
  • Saturday Cape Town - 07:00 AM
    Road name: Rhodes Drive
    ROAD CLOSED between Constantia Nek and the M3 Highway until 1300
 
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

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...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.