Wednesday, 5 September 2012

UN reports of displacement in Kismayu as AMISOM readies for take over

UN troops in Somalia.
Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said about 900 Somalis have been displaced from Kismayo as the African Union soldiers intensify their aerial raids and
naval operations to march towards the strategic port town to launch major onslaught on Al-Shabaab.

Despite criticism that several civilians have been victims of air strikes in southern Somalia, the military operation against the Al-Shabaab has intensified since the past week
with soldiers massing near the only remaining stronghold of the insurgents. The UNHCR, through humanitarian bulletin released in Nairobi on Tuesday, said its population
movement tracking system has recorded a steady but not large-scale displacement in the past month from Kismayo.Displacement of IDPs from Kismayo has mostly been on a
short- term basis as many return from towns such as Jamaame and Jilib seeking to re-establish livelihood opportunities as soon as the situation stabilizes," the UNHCR said in
its humanitarian bulletin said.

According to the bulletin, Al-Shabaab has imposed restrictions on people moving out of the city to other parts of Lower Juba, a move that has resulted in many fleeing the
anticipated conflict to move to Mogadishu. The intensified military campaign to overpower the Al-Shabaab before entering Kismayo for a takeover mission saw the AMISOM
soldiers kill dozens of the militants and recover several ammunitions from the Al-Shabaab including technical vehicles.The AU soldiers have been using attack helicopters and
naval ships and have now reached Harbole, a town that is near Kismayo.Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna is reported to have said the insurgents
were determined to slow down the looming major onslaught on them but will not succeed. Oguna said AMISOM forces are prepared to have casualties as part of the efforts
the brave soldiers were ready to pay to seize the strategic port city.  

The intensified tactical operations on the frontline have been buoyed by the return to normalcy in some liberated areas in southern Somalia. AMISOM troops were deployed
to Somalia in 2007 with an AU Peace and Security Council and UN Security Council mandate to provide peace and stability for the Somali people.Since then, AMISOM has
helped Somali security forces secure Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, and other key strategic towns, freeing them from the brutal grip of the al Qaida-affiliated militant group,

The deployment of the Kenyan troops in the southern regions has so far helped to prevent the movement of explosives to the strategic towns of Husingo and Badhade, the
conduit points for the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the counterfeit electronics and contraband sugar smuggling across the region. Military officials said these regions
are crucial to the stabilization of Kenya's coastal and northeastern provinces, which have been targeted by attackers preying on soft civilian targets.

Meanwhile the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) is calling for broadening and boosting of the mandate of the UN Mission for Stabilization of Congo
(MONUSCO), amid rebel threat in the troubled eastern province of North Kivu.

The call was made by Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende Omalanga on Monday at a press conference in the capital Kinshasa.Mende noted that MONUSCO
has been present in the Central African country for years as a mission to protect the civilian population, control the border with Rwanda and neutralize the rebel forces like the
M23 and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). "The government's request does not necessarily mean increase of MONUSCO's military size, but we are
simply calling for some adjustments not only in its mandate, but also in its rules of engagement and the composition of its troops," he said.

The request comes just a few days before the summit of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, which is scheduled to take place on Sept. 7-8 in Uganda. The
regional leaders will meet to finalize the proposal on deployment of an international neutral force along the border between DR Congo and Rwanda, with a view of
neutralizing armed groups that have been destabilizing eastern DR Congo. The summit will be the second hosted by Uganda after the first was held in the Ugandan capital
Kampala. The countries failed to reach an agreement on a neutral force with some countries insisting on the composition of regional troops and Kinshasa on broadening the
MONUSCO mission. (Xinhua)

No comments:

Post a Comment