U.N. increases troops by 50 percent
UNITED NATIONS | Moving to better protect Somalia’s weak, U.N.-backed government from armed opposition groups, the Security Council unanimously agreed Wednesday to increase the peacekeeping force there by 50 percent, from 8,000 to 12,000 troops.
Uganda said it would contribute the additional 4,000 troops.
The resolution approved by council members said the extended deployment and the troop increase are necessary to support Somalia’s so-called Transitional Federal Government and civilians from attacks by al-Shabab and other opposition groups.
Al-Shabab and the other largest armed group in the country, Hizbul Islam, announced in recent days they would drop their feud and merge forces to concentrate on fighting the Mogadishu-based government and the African Union troops who protect it.
Considered Somalia’s most dangerous armed group, al-Shabab practices a harsh, conservative brand of Islam that bans television and movies. Its punishments include the chopping off of hands of thieves and death by stoning of adulterers.
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“There are serious investigations under way … none of the persons mentioned is guilty until they have been properly investigated and there is evidence,” said Mr. Saitoti, who is minister for internal security and provincial administration.View Entire Story
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