Kenya has decided to contribute one battalion of about 800 to 850 troops to African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). This was indicated during the 13th extraordinary session of the Inter-governmental Authority for Africa’s Development (IGAD) Ministers on Somalia held in Addis, Ethiopia on Tuesday.
Seyoum Mesfin, Minister of Ethiopian Foreign Affairs and current Chairman of EGAD announced the news after the end of a closed session of EGAD Ministers. The decision of Kenya is believed to strengthen the AMISM peacekeeping force in Kenya and accelerates the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces from Somalia.
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki last month noted the contribution made by the governments and people of Uganda and Burundi to the AMISOM and urged other countries to expedite the deployment of more troops to help stabilize the war-torn nation.
Kibaki whose country hosted the protracted talks that led to the formation of the transitional government of Somalia in 2004 said: "I am therefore calling on Nigeria to expedite her pledge to deploy troops, to AMISOM to bolster its mandate."
AMISOM is currently operating below its anticipated strength capacity of 8,000 troops with only 3,413 currently deployed.
In a related development, the 13th extraordinary session of IGAD Ministers on Somalia also passed 13-point resolution, which includes imposing immediate sanctions of those people who are obstacles to the implementation of the recent Djibouti agreement that allows the establishment of a Unity government of Somalia.
The sanction includes travel bans and freezing assets of those people who are said to be obstacles to the peace and stability of Somalia. It is recalled that following the agreement of Djibouti made between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia and Alliance for Somalia’s Re-Liberation, the split between TFG Prime Minister and President was arisen.
In one of its resolution, the 13th extraordinary session of IGAD Ministers on Somalia also noted the fact that once again the Somali leadership has failed its people, the regional and international communities at large by failing to implement the Nairobi Declaration.