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Uganda fails to change AMISOM mandate

The Uganda Eye
By Steven Fredrick Magomu
Tuesday, August 03, 2010

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A closed door African Heads of State meeting into the night to come up with decisive action on the destiny of the African peacekeeping mission in Somalia ended without Uganda achieving its desired objective of changing the mandate of the AMISOM.

Four key issues on the agenda of the meeting are the review of the mandate of the Peace Keeping Force, Funding, Logistical Support, and troops commitment.

The Heads of State deliberating on a report presented by the East African Standby Brigade meeting that sat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last week, to scale up response to the threat of terrorism from Somalia, resolved to increase more troops to Somalia but retain the same mandate.

81 people were killed in suicide attacks on the 11 July in the Uganda capital Kampala.

According to sources attending the meeting over 10000 additional troops are likely be sent to Somalia.

Uganda’s request to have the AMISOM, be given permission to go after the rebels was turned down by the delegates. The assistant secretary of state Johnnie Carson says the only issue the AMISOM needs a boost of more troops but not changing its mandate.

"There is no doubt there is a need for more troops on the ground," Carson told the media.

He added "We in Washington have committed ourselves to supplying the additional troops on the ground in the same fashion that we have supplied the existing Burundian and Ugandan troops".

No attacking of Al Shabbab

Our Sources at the summit intimated to The Uganda Eye that countries that are against the policy of changing the AMISOM mandate, urge changing the AMISOM mandate would help the rebels increase their recruiting.

“When you attack Al Shabbab, they will start using innocent women and children as shields, when you kill the women and children they would justify their acts” our source at the meeting, quoted Carson as saying.

Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have suffered attacks from the Somali based terrorist groups like Al Shabbab.

At least 21,000 Somalis have been killed in fighting since the start of 2007, 1.5 million have been uprooted from their homes and nearly half a million are sheltering in other countries in the region.

Source: The Uganda Eye