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Tanzania backs UPDF Somalia mission

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th March 2007 03:00 AM

TANZANIA supports Uganda’s deployment of troops in war-torn Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping force.

By Anne Mugisa

TANZANIA supports Uganda’s deployment of troops in war-torn Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping force.

“Uganda is playing a positive and excellent role in the search for peace in Somalia,” said Tanzania’s foreign minister Bernard Membe.

Membe revealed this at the signing of an agreement on economic, social, political and military cooperation between Uganda and Tanzania in Kampala yesterday.

Tanzania has offered to train the Somali army, he noted and urged the UN to commit more funds to the peacekeeping force.

Five African countries have pledged to contribute troops to Somalia but only Uganda has so far sent in its promised 1,500 soldiers.

Uganda’s foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa said the joint commission would help in fast-tracking the East African federation.

About the recent eviction of Ugandans and Rwandans from Tanzania, Membe clarified that all those evicted had encroached on wildlife reserves. Most of the evicted people had brought in huge herds of cattle and were evicted irrespective of their nationality, he explained.

He made it clear that his government would take action against anybody found to have ill-treated the encroachers.

Kutesa denied that President Yoweri Museveni was targeting the East African federation presidency. He said although Museveni had pushed for the federation for over 10 years, he had not expressed interest in the regional presidency.

He added that those spreading the rumour were only trying to divert people from the real problems facing the region.

He said in the first phase of the federation, all the five presidents of the East African countries, which include Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi, would hold a joint presidency.

Tanzania backs UPDF Somalia mission

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