The Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) for the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in its 22nd meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia called for deployment of 4,000 additional troops in the war-ravaged country.
The meeting emphasized the urgency for the UN and international community to support additional forces of up to 4,000 troops to boost the force already in Somalia battling Al-Shabaab terrorists.
They also asked for support on provision of rations, fuel, and medical, for a limited duration, to allow for the conduct of offensive operations, as a catalyst for AMISOM imminent draw-down from Somalia.
In the meantime, the MOCC agreed that the AU Commission convene a planning meeting, which will be hosted by Ethiopia in the capital Addis Ababa, not later than the first week of February 2017, to finalize the operational plan for the conduct of expanded offensive operations.
In a statement released by AU, MOCC reiterated the need for continued and enhanced support to the Somalia National Army (SNA) especially in preparation for the envisaged expanded offensive operations.
Chiefs of Defense Staff of AMISOM troop contributing countries (TCC) — Ethiopia, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda — or their designated representatives attended the meeting, chaired by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smaïl Chergui.
Also present at the meeting included representatives of the SNA, partner countries and institutions namely: the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the European Union and United Nations.
Uganda and the four other troop contributing countries first deployed peace keepers in Somalia in 2007, following a resolution by the AU.
Uganda was the first country to deploy her soldiers in the war-torn country and contributes over 6000 troops to fight the al-Qaeda backed al-Shabaab militants.