The defense ministry of the transitional federal government of Somalia strongly advocated extension of the UA peace keeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by the United Nations Security Council this week.
Somalia’s State defense minister and former Islamist rebel commander Sheik Yusuf Mohamed Siyad Indhadde said the Somali government is happy with the unanimous approval by the UN Security Council members to extend the mandate of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia by another year.
“We have asked the United Nations to give AU peacekeepers an extra time to continue their peacekeeping duties in Somalia and the UN accepted our demands by extending the AU mission in Somalia until 2011,” the state defense minister told reporters in Mogadishu Saturday.
The AU mission in Somalia is protecting the weak transitional federal government from being toppled by the powerful Islamist rebel groups who currently control most of south Central Somali regions.
AU has currently at least 5,000 peace keepers from Uganda and Burundi who have been operating in the lawless capital since early 2007 and they have been confined to only seaport, airport and presidential palace and some other key installations since then.
Both AU troops and Somali government forces face nearly daily attacks from Al Shabab and another Islamist rebel group Hezbal Islam which have been waging a big offensive to topple the government since early May last year.