Somalia

SOMALIA: AFRICAN UNION (AU) EXTENDS PEACEKEEPING MANDATE

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The mandate for the AU's peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) in Somalia has been extended by a further six months said the AU commissioner for Peace and Security during a press conference, Ramtane Lamamra. He added that he asked the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take charge of the mission and such. The AU believes that AMISOM is operating in Somalia to restore peace and help the transition government to re-establish its authority over the entire Somali territory in the name of the international community and the like. "In Somalia - said Lamamra - we are not dealing with a mere regional or national crisis, we are dealing with a global one: it is the international community's duty to support the efforts to restore peace in the country and prevent the success of extremism". Composed by some 5200 troops, most of whom coming from Burundi, Uganda and Djibouti, AMISOM is seen as an occupation force by the insurgents, who are challenging the transition government and, as such, it is targeted by attacks in its areas of operation, limited to Mogadishu itself. [AB]