Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US expects peacekeepers to stay in Somalia

06 November 2012, 12:03

Nairobi - The United States expects Uganda to keep its peacekeeping forces in Somalia, despite a threat to withdraw in protest at a UN report accusing Kampala of aiding rebels in eastern Congo, a senior State Department official said on Monday.

The government in Kampala said on Friday it would pull out of peacekeeping missions in Africa unless the United Nations amends a report accusing it of supporting rebels in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Wendy Sherman, US under secretary of state for political affairs, who met Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni last week, said Museveni had raised concerns about the UN report. However, she said she still expected him to keep peacekeeping troops on the ground.

"I fully expect because of (Museveni's) commitment to peace and security in the region that Uganda will continue to play the leadership role it has, both diplomatically and in terms of military security," Sherman told reporters in Nairobi.

Diplomats on the 15-nation UN Security Council said they had reached similar conclusions after meetings with a Ugandan delegation to discuss the issue. All said that the Ugandans made clear they were unhappy with the report but did not bring mention their threats to withdraw troops from any missions.

"They complained about the report but didn't say anything about ending participation in Somalia or elsewhere," one diplomat in New York said on condition of anonymity.0

Ugandan troops account for more than a third of the 17 600 UN-mandated African peacekeepers battling al-Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels in Somalia, and their withdrawal could hand an advantage to the weakened al Shabaab rebels.

Backed by US special forces, the soldiers are also leading the hunt for fugitive Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony in Central African Republic, with some stationed in South Sudan.

Uganda and Rwanda have denied accusations in a leaked U.N. Group of Experts report which said the two neighbours were arming Congo's M23 rebels, whose warlord leader has been indicted by the International Criminal Court.

In the confidential report, which was seen in full by Reuters, the experts called for sanctions on those who violated an arms embargo.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky was asked if Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had been informed of Ugandan plans to pull out of peacekeeping missions. He told reporters that the world body was aware of "various and varying" media reports on the issue.

"The United Nations has had no official communication from the government of Uganda in relation to this matter," he said.

Uganda's foreign ministry said over the weekend it was "inevitable" Ugandan forces would leave Somalia unless the UN corrected "false accusations" against the country.

Somalia's Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid told Reuters on Saturday he hoped Uganda would not pull out its troops at what he said was a critical moment in the fight against al Shabaab.

Sherman said the east and central Africa region needed Uganda's diplomatic and military leadership, which includes Museveni's chairmanship of peace talks between Congo, M23 rebels and Rwanda.

"President Museveni and Uganda have played critical roles, not only in terms of their military capabilities but their diplomatic capabilities to try to navigate, negotiate and mediate concerns in the region," she said.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...