National
UN troops deploy in Somali capital to defend staff
Publish Date: May 18, 2014
UN troops deploy in Somali capital to defend staff
A Ugandan soldier serving with the African union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) patrols through the deserted streets of Bakara Market in central Mogadishu.
  • mail
  • img
newvision

MOGADISHU - A special UN military force to protect aid workers deployed for the first time in the war-ravaged Somali capital Sunday, amid a wave of attacks blamed on Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab insurgents.

The 400-strong "defensive" guard force of Ugandan troops, based at the heavily fortified Mogadishu airport, is "mandated to protect UN staff and installations" in the capital.

Despite the government's insistence that it has improved security, the Al-Shabaab continue to carry out bombings -- including targeting aid workers -- in their bid to overthrow Somalia's internationally backed but fragile leadership.

Al-Shabaab suicide commandos last June blasted their way into a fortified UN base in central Mogadishu, killing 16 people.

"The deployment of the UN Guard Unit is an important step as we continue to expand our operations in support of the Somali people," UN envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay said at a ceremony Sunday to mark the start of operations.

Ugandan troops are already in Somalia as a key part of the UN-mandated African Union force AMISOM, which is fighting the Al-Shabaab.

The insurgents have been driven out of fixed positions in Somalia's major towns by AMISOM troops, but still regularly launch guerrilla raids.

Recent Al-Shabaab attacks have targeted key areas of government or the security forces, in an apparent bid to discredit claims by the authorities that they are winning the war against the Islamist fighters.

"We are proud to join the UN family, and will do our utmost to ensure the UN is able to continue its work in Mogadishu under safe and secure conditions," said Uganda's deputy army commander Charles Angina said.

Continued conflict, compounded by poor rains and funding shortfalls, are threatening the few gains made in Somalia since an extreme famine less than three years ago, with the United Nations and aid agencies warning that the troubled country could be sliding back into a food crisis.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Pistorius gets five years in jail for killing girlfriend
South African Paralympian star sprinter Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for the killing of his girlfriend last year, as his sensational trial reached a climax....
Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years in prison
SOUTH African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius today learns his sentence for shooting dead his girlfriend on Valentine''s Day last year, bringing an end to a seven-month trial that gripped the nation....
World Bank hails Uganda over Ebola fight
THE World Bank has applauded the way Uganda dealt with the Ebola epidemic in the year 2000, Maria Kiwanuka, the finance minister has revealed upon her return from Washington...
SDP drags EC to court over name change
THE Electoral Commission has been dragged to court for purportedly changing the name of Social Democratic Party to Party of National Unity without approval of its members...
Women appeal to African gov
A Women’s Conference meeting in Midrand, South Africa has appealed to African Union (AU) member states to provide financial and logistical support to the government of Nigeria...
MPs castigated over budget
THE secretary to treasury Keith Muhakanizi has castigated Parliament for delaying to pass the national budget of sh15trillion as it affected quarterly releases of funds...
Do Ugandan tycoons prepare their children to take over their business empires?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter