African leaders agree on action plan to boost Somali force

Kampala- Uganda (PANA) -- African leaders have agreed on concrete steps to tackle the insecurity in Somalia after a three-day debate, dominated by the twin bombings in Kampala, the venue of their 15th meeting on pressing African affairs, an African Union (AU) spokesman said.
"The troops are ready," AU Commission's spokesman Noureddin Mezni told PANA after several African leaders ended a mini-summit to plan action against the insecurity in Somalia.
US Assistant Secretary of State Johnny Carson and AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping, initiated a special meeting with several African leaders to handle the situation in Somalia.
"It was an action-oriented meeting, where concrete steps and plan of action on how to handle the situation in Somalia were discussed and agreed upon," Mezni disclosed.
The US has voiced its support for action to deal with the insurgents in Somalia.
Carson said the US was providing assistance to the countries providing troops to Somalia.
African leaders, including President Yoweri Museveni, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, Djiboutian President Omar Guelleh, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, attended the meeting.
The others were officials from Kenya, the United Kingdom, Italy and Burundi, who attended as a troop-contributing country to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
"The main focus was to see ways of strengthening AMISOM.
There were concrete proposals to help the AU in Somalia," Mezni said.
He said political will to tackle the situation was re-affirmed during the meeting dedicated to the situation in Somalia, noting "we have the political will.
We need the resources to deal with this situation.
" Ping appealed to the leaders to pledge military support, including building AMISOM's air capacity, to deal with the crisis inside Somalia.
He appealed for other enablers, including five helicopters, to help the force handle the situation.
"It was a good meeting in which the heads of state committed to action," he added.

27 july 2010 16:10:00




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