13 Jan 2009

US pushes for UN force in Somalia

2:00 pm on 13 January 2009

The United States circulated a draft Security Council resolution on Monday that would deploy a UN peacekeeping force in Somalia to replace an existing African Union force.

Under the plan, troops from the African Union would be incorporated into the UN force.

Its tasks would be to assist delivery of aid, protect politicians and UN personnel, monitor ceasefires and build up Somali security forces.

However, UN officials and some Security Council members consider the situation is too dangerous.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council last November a multinational force of around 10,000 troops would be needed to stabilize Somalia before a peacekeeping force of some 22,500 troops be deployed.

But after contacting some 50 countries, Mr Ban said none had volunteered to lead a stabilization force and only one or two would be willing to provide troops.