Somalia

Arab League to fund African peacekeepers in Somalia one mln USD

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CAIRO, Jun 10, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Arab League (AL) has decided to allocate one million U.S. dollars to fund the African Union (AU) peacekeepers in Somalia, a spokesman for AL's chief said Sunday.

During a telephone interview with Xinhua, Alaa Roushdi said AL Secretary General Amr Moussa held talks Sunday morning with Lynn Pascoe, UN Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, and Francois Fall, UN special representative to Somalia.

Roushdi said they discussed the situation in Somalia and are trying to move forward the peace precess in the African country.

Following their meeting, AL director of the Africa department Samir Hosni said the Arab body is taking necessary measures to transfer the money to the AU troops in Somalia.

The official said the AL will take part in the national reconciliation conference of Somalia, which is scheduled to be held in Mogadishu for June 14.

Earlier on Friday, Pascoe said UN will dispatch a peacekeeping mission to help stabilize Somalia subject to Security Council approval as part of a three-point plan to return the Horn of Africa nation to normalcy.

"It's a fact that more troops are needed to help stabilize Somalia which has without a central government for more than 16 years," Pascoe told journalists in Nairobi after a four-hour visit to Somalia.

He said there is a need for more peacekeepers in Somalia as soon as possible, but this would depend on the additional funding coming from the European Union and other financiers to aid the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia.