African Union summit: As leaders discuss Somalia, fighting rages there
Heads of state gathering at the African Union summit in Kampala, Uganda, pledged to strengthen the AU peacekeeping force in Somalia. Meanwhile, fighting in the past few days has killed scores in Somalia.
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"We came away even more united and committed to work together to strengthen the TFG, to help strengthen AMISOM, to help strengthen the forces for stability in Somalia, and to help do as much as we can to help beat Al Shabab," said Johnnie Carson, US assistant secretary of state for Africa.Skip to next paragraph
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Mr. Carson reiterated that the US has no intention to further Americanize the conflict in Somalia but said that a strategy had been defined with regional and international players to increase troop contributions, equipment, and money.
“The bombings in Kampala were a wake-up call not only for the region but for Africa as a whole,” Carson said.
A little support goes a long way
For the representatives of the embattled Somali Transitional Federal Government, words of support were appreciated – even if the international community has little option but to continue supporting the TFG.
“The alternative is bad. If you don’t support the TFG, then Al Shabab will come,” said Somali foreign minister Yusuf Hassan Ibrahim after the meeting. “Who will be happy with Shabab?”
But back in Somalia, news of fresh fighting between government forces and Al Shabab in Mogadishu and in the autonomous region of Puntland – a usually peaceful part of the country – offered a stark reminder of the reality on the ground.
Thirteen Al Shabab fighters were killed when Al Shabab attacked Puntland forces, President of Puntland Abdirahman Mohamed Farole told journalists in Puntland’s capital, Hageisa, Reuters reported Monday. On the same day, dozens of soldiers from the federal government’s fledgling army and Islamist militants died in fighting in Mogadishu, agencies said.
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