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.
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 stabilization force into Somalia.” The United Nations says it’s poised to send staff back to Somalia but needs assurances that they’ll be able to work in safety. That may take some time. Having ousted the Islamic Courts, Ethiopia wants to bring its troops home. But the Somali army’s ill-equipped to maintain order unaided. And so far only Uganda’s pledged soldiers to the proposed peacekeeping force.