While Ethiopian troops continue to track Islamist militia in southern Somalia, the international community is stepping up efforts to try to bring some lasting stability to the African state. The International Contact Group, meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, has been discussing the make-up of a peacekeeping force.
The US Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs, Jendayi Frazer, said: “The contact group clearly felt that it was important that there not be a security vacuum in Somalia but we also felt that it was therefore urgent to get a stabilisation force into Somalia.”
The need for security has been made clear today after hundreds violently protested in Mogadishu against the presence of Ethiopian troops. The demonstrations came as the government indefinitely postponed a disarmament programme in the capital, a move that leaves Somali’s ill-equipped army further in need of foreign help. So far only Uganda has pledged soldiers to the proposed peacekeeping force.