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Thursday, 30 September 2010

Somalia: Expansion of AU Force studied at Madrid meeting

We'll see what results this meeting has. Expatica:
Representatives of 45 nations and international bodies met in Madrid Monday to consider plans to strengthen an African Union peacekeeping force in war-torn Somalia.
The AU force, known as AMISOM, comprises about 7,200 troops, and the meeting of the UN-backed International Contact Group on Somalia, which is to conclude on Tuesday, will "look into a possible reinforcement," Spain's foreign ministry said in a statement.
Stepping up the fight against maritime piracy in waters off the coast of Somalia and finding ways to boost support for the country's transitional government will be among the other topics discussed, it added.
Delegates from 45 nations and international organisations, including the United States and the European Union, are taking part in the meeting which was closed to the press.
Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the top United Nations envoy to the country, Augustine Mahiga, are among the participants.
Ahmed warned in a speech before the UN General Assembly on Saturday that Somalia is "a weak link" in the fight against international terrorism and urged nations to continue to assist in training its forces and supporting the AU peacekeeping contingent.

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