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[Dehai-WN] Africareview.com: African Union set for new Al-Shabaab military strategy

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 13:56:23 +0100

African Union set for new Al-Shabaab military strategy

By ARGAW ASHINEPosted Wednesday, January 4 2012 at 10:18

The African Union is set to launch a new integrated military strategy to
fight the Al-Shabaab extremist group in Somalia.

Defence ministers and army chiefs of six East African countries are
scheduled to meet Wednesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss the
proposed new approach to tackling the Islamist group.

The AU's Peace and Security commissioner Ramaten Lamamra said the
consultative meeting would go over the unified plan which had been prepared
by experts.

Mr Lamamra said he was however constrained to explain in detail the content
of the proposed strategy as it was a classified working document.

Defence ministers and army chiefs from the troop contributing countries -
Ethiopia, Djibouti Kenya Burundi, Somalia and Uganda - will take part in the
final consultation on the plan.

Sources who participated in the preparation of the document said the
military strategy would task each country with different zones with the aim
of avoiding contradictions in the military interventions.

Funding hopes

The AU also hopes to get more funding from the United Nations and other
Western countries to implement the proposed military plan.

Last month, Kenya, which is is fighting the Al-Shabaab in southern Somalia,
requested to integrate its armed force with the AU-flagged AMISOM

Djibouti has also started to deploy some 850 troops to the mission which
already has Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers.

Ethiopia also re-entered Somalia with its troops last week capturing the
central west Somalia town of Beledweyne .

The AU has demanded a more organised and centrally commanded troop operation
in Somalia.

Al-Shabaab is in its weakest position since September 2011 due to the
deteriorating humanitarian crisis and internal divisions in its leadership.

But the militant group has said the withdraw of its forces from the capital
city Mogadishu is a strategic retreat and vowed to fight any foreigners who
invade Somalia.


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