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, 16:26

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

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...