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Canada to bolster AU forces

02 October 2013, 11:21

Ottawa - Canada announced on Tuesday funding to bolster African Union forces in Somalia, after a deadly mall attack in Nairobi by Al-Shabaab Islamists last month.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird pledged Can$5m for enhancing counterterrorism efforts through the African Union mission in Somalia, as well as $1m for other security and conflict resolution programs in the Horn of Africa.

The funds are in addition to Can$37m already committed by Ottawa for Somalia, and $2.4bn committed by the world.

At a joint press conference, Somalia's visiting Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Fawzia Yusuf Adam said her government in partnership with the African Union "is defeating" Shabaab.

"Al-Shabaab is on its last legs, they lost numbers, they lost morale, they lost ground, they're only in small pockets. We're not worried about them. We're in control of the situation, but we need a last push" with aid from the international community to strengthen its security forces, she said.

"We need to stand on our feet and defend our shores and defend our ground and finish al-Shabaab."

The four-day bloodbath at the upmarket Westgate shopping mall, which Kenyan forces brought to an end last Tuesday, left at least 67 people dead. The Kenyan Red Cross said on Monday that 39 more were still missing.



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