They will join the 9,000 forces
from Uganda and Burundi who are protecting the Transitional Federal Government (TFG).
The peacekeepers would like to add 3,000 more in order to bring the force to a maximum strength of 12,000. Uganda will send another 2,000 to join the peacekeeping force in Mogadishu.
“Our forces have been very adaptive, adapting to the terrain, fighting in built-up areas,” said Lieutenant Colonel Paddy Ankunda, a spokesman for the AU peacekeeping force. “But it’s been difficult.”
Augustine Mahiga, the United Nations envoy for Somalia, voiced the need to bring the strength of the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia to the 12,000 troops
mandated by the Security Council.Mahiga added that the force needs the capacity to deal with unconventional tactics of war.
“In this last effort to clear Al Shabaab in north-eastern corner of the city [Mogadishu], we are witnessing a combination” of conventional warfare methods and terrorist attacks, said Mahiga.
“It is, of course, quite a challenge
and in a sense an important reminder to the troop contributing countries and to the international community that we must expedite the deployment of the remaining 3 000 troops which have been authorized by the Security Council.
It has been three weeks since Kenya sent its troops to Somalia in order to pursue Al-shabaab rebels who were kidnapping Western tourists inside Kenya.
African governments such as South Africa, Tanzania and Ruanda
have expressed their support for Kenya’s military operation in Somalia.