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UN ‘War on Terror’ in Africa: Ban Ki-Moon wants new troops and arms ‘surge’ into Somalia

21st Century Wire says…

Right now, Somalia is shaping up again to be one of the conflict focus areas for both the United Nations and the US-led War on Terror.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for a new ‘surge’ of thousands of African Union troops, and possibly UN blue helmets into Somalia to push out al Qaeda-linked terror confab al-Shabab.

The UN hopes that temporary military buildup of forces should will “pave the way for the exit of all international forces”. It’s more than likely that this latest UN announcement fits into the Pentagon’s larger strategy outlined in its US AFRICOM directive for the militarisation of the continent.

Skeptics and critics alike are asking the obvious question: where have we heard this before, and when has this strategy over worked out?

Realistic answers to these questions are not coming from either the UN or the US State Department, so we’ll now highlight what the public are saying…

One Somalian reader of the Washington Post explained the issue from a national perspective:

“As a Somali, all we ask the International Community is to ”equip our Soldiers with enough gear”’ and Al-Shabaab militants will be history in a matter of days/weeks. UN lifted the Arms Embargo on Somalia, but still refusing to equip the ARMY. Recently our government showed its seriousness by providing regular salary to soldiers from their own budget, this shows all we need is ”train, equip and provide to our Soldiers if the west is serious enough about stability in Somalia.”

Another reader also stated, “I find it incredibly idiotic that the U.N. and the U.S. and the African Union have not taken advantage of the fact that half of Somalia, the northern half, has a democratic, stable government. That region is called Somaliland. It declared independence, but has been unable to get any recognition or foreign aid. Why doesn’t the UN use Somaliland as a base for forming, training and equipping an army that would consist of Somalis and not Kenyans and Ugandans? Somalia is just like most African nations a made up place. It was British and Italian colonies until the Second World War. The one stable region in that morass that was Somalia has been ignored.”

One reader Blackhole comments:

“Its not a UN backed force, its a US backed force. Like the warlords the USA backed in the 1990’s the population rose up to drive them out and this led to the creation of the moderate Islamic Courts Union. The USA then promptly bombed them to dust and talked the Ethiopians into invading, which they did. This gave rise to al-Shabab. Now the UN chief is calling for the full scale occupation of Somalia by mercenary armies linked to horrible human rights abuses. So now Ban wants attack helicopters run by a bunch of rapists?”

It looks like there is an invasion scheduled for Somalia. What has been discovered there? Well, vast quantities of gas and oil. 

March 18, 2013 – Somali men carry a seriously wounded man after a car bomb blast close to the Somali government’s headquarters in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia. (AP)

Thousands of additional troops urged for force in Somalia

Colum Lynch

Washington Post

UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is calling for a surge of thousands of African troops in Somalia to stem the threat of terrorism posed by Islamist insurgents and ensure the survival of a U.N.-backed government, whose success Washington believes is crucial to defeating extremist groups in the region, according to a previously undisclosed appeal.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Ban urged member nations to provide the African Union Mission in Somalia with financial and military support, including attack helicopters and advanced logistical and intelligence equipment. He warned that there was an urgent need to strengthen the military campaign against al-Shabab, a Somali militant group linked to al-Qaeda, and to “avoid further reversals.”

“The deterioration in the security situation threatens to undermine the fragile Somali political process,” Ban wrote in the letter.

The African Union force is made up of about 18,000 troops and is dominated by Ugandans and Burundians. Ban is calling for as many as 4,400 additional troops and support staff for a period of up to two years, and for a limited package of nonlethal support — including transportation, food rations and fuel — for 10,000 front-line Somali troops.

If approved, the appeal would mark a sizable buildup for the U.N. mission and would be aimed at dealing a decisive military defeat to al-Shabab.

Al-Shabab recently carried out a brazen terrorist attack at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya. In a measure of increasing international anxiety over the threat posed by these militants, a team of Navy SEALs mounted a beach raid on one of the group’s strongholds in a failed attempt to capture a Kenyan-born commander.

The strategy endorsed by Ban was first outlined by a joint U.N.- African Union mission that traveled to Somalia in late August and early September to assess the danger posed by al-Shabab. It draws on the military rationale invoked by the United States in past years to justify temporary surges in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to break the back of insurgencies and lay the groundwork for an eventual exit strategy…

Read more of this story at Wash Post




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