UN deputy chief says Somali forces need support for peacebuildingListen /
Somali forces need a significant temporary boost for required peacebuilding and to respond to the threat of the Al-Shabaab Islamist insurgents.
That's what UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said in his briefing to the Security Council Wednesday on the situation in the Horn of Africa country which he visited last weekend.
Mr. Eliasson told the Council there is hope in Somalia today as compared to the situation twenty years ago when he visited the country as the United Nations' first Emergency Relief Coordinator.
However, he warned that this hope is fragile and after 18 months of successful operations that uprooted the Al Shabaab insurgents from major cities, the campaign by the African Union Mission (AMISOM) and Somali forces has in recent months ground to a halt.
"The recommended enhancements for AMISOM, including helicopters and other enablers, will allow the force to regain the initiative against the insurgency and to recover strategic locations that are exploited by Al-Shabaab to generate revenue, and to recruit and train combatants. The recommendations for non-lethal and logistic support to the Somali National Forces are equally critical, this includes medical support, transport, tents, food and fuel." (27")
Mr. Eliasson said this non-lethal support would enable the Somalis to operate effectively alongside AMISOM improving their capacity to hold cleared areas until the Somali National Police can take over, with AMISOM police support.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.