African Union holds special session on peace and security in Horn

Augustine Mahiga

Peacekeepers are urgently needed in Somalia to occupy the areas evacuated by the Al Sahaab rebels, according to the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Augustine Mahiga.

Mahiga says that Al Shabaab is expected to resort to classical terrorist and guerrilla tactics. Therefore he has appealed for countries to deploy more troops.

The Secretary-General's Representative was speaking at a special session on peace and security for the Horn of Africa organized by the African Union.

Also on the table were discussions about the humanitarian emergency triggered by widespread drought in the region, including the famine in five areas of Somalia.

Augustine Mahiga says the three thousand additional troops requested would bring the total strength of the African Union force to 12,000.

"Uganda and Burundi again have generously offered to deploy these troops immediately. What remains now is for the United Nations and the international community to provide the requisite resources and logistics to ensure that the deployment is as quick as possible in the coming weeks or days, rather than weeks."

Duration: 22″

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