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Saturday, July 04, 2009

AMISOM may do more than Peace keeping in Somalia

Al-Shabaab fighters have vowed to seize arms from AU peacekeepers in Mogadishu if their mandate id changed.

The spokesman of Al-Shabaab, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Raghe, said AU’s intention of changing the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in Somalia would be opposed.

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has requested the international community for help to repel the Islamist forces trying to overthrow it.

In response, the Inter-governmental Agency on Development (Igad) member countries namely Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia have requested the AU to change the power and mandate of Amisom from peacekeepers to peacemakers.

If Igad’s request is endorsed by the AU and UN, the Amisom forces will not be limited to defensive capacity by also to fight the rebels in order to enforce peace.

This came as a possibility when the conflict in Somalia was made one of the main agenda items at AU Summit in Sirte, Libya, yesterday.

Reacting to the latest development, the spokesman of Al-Shabaab, said the new move would offer Islamist fighters an opportunity to seize weapons from Amisom.

“It is a chance for our mujahideen (holy warriors) to seize weapons from Amisom soldiers should they come out of their hideouts,” said Sheikh Ali Dhere.

“It will be a great chance for our fighters to test their fighting skills that will surely lead to the defeat of the foreign soldiers,” he added.

Sheikh Ali Dhere condemned the African leaders who met in Libya for discussing the agenda item he named as being against the Somali people.

“They are there to talk about how to harm the Somali people,” said Al-Shabaab spokesman.
The AU Summit, however, did not conclude a resolution allowing the Amisom peacekeepers to directly support the TFG.

The Rest @ The nation (Kenya)

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