AU delegation in war-torn Somalia

VIGILANT: Somali government soldiers patrol outside the presidential palace. Pic. Mohamed Sheikh Nor. 15/01/2007. © AP
VIGILANT: Somali government soldiers patrol outside the presidential palace. Pic. Mohamed Sheikh Nor. 15/01/2007. © AP

MOGADISHU - An AU delegation is in Somalia's capital to discuss the deployment of international peacekeepers as the government expanded a house-to-house search for weapons in one of the world's most dangerous and heavily armed cities.

MOGADISHU - An AU delegation is in Somalia's capital to discuss the deployment of international peacekeepers as the government expanded a house-to-house search for weapons in one of the world's most dangerous and heavily armed cities.

Mohamed Foum, AU's special representative for Somalia, said nine delegates arrived for meetings with the government in this chaotic African nation.

President Abdullahi Yusuf must establish enough calm to allow peacekeepers to deploy in Somalia to protect his government until it can form an effective police force and army. The government, with critical help from Ethiopia's military, last month drove out an Islamic militia that had controlled much of southern Somalia.

The US, the UN and the AU all want to deploy peacekeepers to stop Somalia from returning to clan-based violence and anarchy. But so far no African government has responded to the call for an 8000-strong peacekeeping force for the country. Uganda has indicated its willingness to send 1500 peacekeepers.

Other nations willing and able are South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin and perhaps Senegal. But all of those countries already provide peacekeepers around the world .

No country will send peacekeepers into Somalia if there is fighting. - Sapa

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