Seth Onyango @SethManex
Kenya has intensified the push for the United Nations (UN) to equip the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) to bolster ground troops’ offensive against al-Shabaab.
Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma yesterday decried the slow pace by the UN in supplying the much-needed force enablers to crash the militant group.
“Amison has been in Somalia for some time now and the big challenge is that we don’t have force multipliers…we don’t have air cover, maritime capabilities, approved by the UN Security Council and this has remained core on the troop-contributing countries,” she said.
“You cannot fight a war just inland, you need to cover your troops and airlift a lot of things you need in terms of supporting them. We haven’t had adequate resources and equipment that are predictable to deal with the threat of terrorism in Somalia,” she said.
Juma spoke at the 6th High-Level Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa in Nairobi yesterday, as African diplomats intensified lobbying the UN to provide the aforementioned support.
She blamed the delay on how the UN Security Council resources are structured noting that Amisom was an African Union initiative hence they needed to seek authorisation and concurrence of the UN in New York.
“Therefore, there has always been a challenge to create concurrence and common understanding on the needs of Amisom on the ground,” she said.
Once granted, the force multipliers will address Amisom’s logistical challenges and gaps in its battlefield and force projection capabilities.