A.U. May Seek NATO Help in Somalia Crisis; U.S. Blames Eritrea for Somali Instability
The African Union says if the situation gets further out of control, it may ask assistance from NATO forces stationed in Somalia’s pirate-infested waters.
As insurgency is escalating in the Horn of Africa, A.U. special envoy to Somalia, Nicolas Bwakira, addressing reporters in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi said the African body may ask for help from outside the continent if it feels that the crisis is out of hand.
“We will go all the way to provide support for the Somalia Transitional Federal Government. We will use A.U. forces for the time being. But if it becomes necessary, we will ask for help from forces outside Africa,” Bwakira said while suggesting NATO forces when asked to clarify which forces outside Africa.
He reiterated that the A.U. peacekeepers will not violate their mandate of peacekeeping, adding that the suggestion for mandate expansion that would include peace enforcing is underway in order to fully defend the citizens caught in the fighting, a Press TV correspondent reported on Friday from Nairobi.
Meanwhile, the United Nations special envoy for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah on Friday said he was ready to lobby for the removal of the names of Somali individuals who are on the U.S. terror suspects list if they are willing to pursue dialogue instead of conflict.
“No one who is named on the U.N. Security Council list of terrorists can become a president or a prime minister. He cannot sit in an office nor even travel as a simple citizen because you may be in trouble. But those who are on the U.S. terrorist list, I am ready to lobby for them, I put it in writing. I will help remove the names of Somalians to open political dialogue for them. It is not killing their own compatriots that will solve this problem,” Ould-Abdallah said.
The U.N. envoy restated that the dialogue window is still open for any peace loving party to end the bloodshed.
His statement comes after a week-long fighting in the war-ravaged nation that involved Somali militant groups and pro-government forces.
The Horn of Africa nation has been in chaos since 1991 when warlords ousted former president Mohammed Siad Barre.
Many consider the Transitional National Government (TNG), which controls pockets of the capital and little else, as just one of the many, mostly clan-based, armed groups vying for power and control across the country.
It is hardly a unique story at this point, but once again the Somali government seems on the verge of collapse against a fierce offensive by the al-Shabaab movement. The U.S. State Department is pointing its finger squarely at the nation of Eritrea, claiming it “has been instrumental in facilitating support of the extremists” that are imperiling the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG). >>>