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
Big strides made in fighting TB, says WHO
The known tally of people with tuberculosis rose last year but overall "major progress" is being made in rolling back the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday....
Minister Chebrot hospitalized in China
Dr. Steven Chebrot, the state minister for transport has been hospitalized in a Chinese hospital....
Drug-resistant TB at crisis levels, warns WHO
Multi drug-resistant tuberculosis remains at crisis levels, with about 480,000 new cases this year, and various forms of the lung disease killed about 1.5 million people in 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday....
Terror suspects linked to Al Shabaab further remanded
Police are yet to conclude investigations in a case involving 10 terror suspects linked to Al Shabaab arrested last month from Kisenyi in Kampala....
Rwanda backtracks on special Ebola screening of travellers from US and Spain
Rwanda will no longer have special Ebola-screening measures imposed on travelers arriving from the United States and Spain...
7 Makerere students detained over demo
At least seven students who were arrested during the Monday Makerere University demostration against an attempted graduation fees increment face charges....
Was Oscar Pistorius' 5 year sentence fair and just?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter