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Mozambique to send peacekeepers to Somalia

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Tuesday April 27, 2010 - 21:21:24 in Featured Items by Super Admin
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    Mozambique to send peacekeepers to Somalia

    Politics

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Politics

John Paku, Sunatimes east Africa bureau chief

Maputo, 23 Apr (Sunatimes) -The Mozambican parliamentarians who are members
of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) will propose that the Mozambican government sends troops to join the African Union's peace keeping mission in Somalia  Amisom).

The chairperson of the Mozambican parliament, Veronica Macamo, told reporters at a Maputo press conference on Friday that the latest session of PAP, held from 12 to 20 April, in Midrand, South Africa, decided that more countries should send troops to Somalia.



She said that Somalia is a major priority for Africa "because the population is living under prolonged suffering, and the situation should have been normalized long ago".

"We have to send peacekeeping missions because the parties to the conflict have already sat down to discuss, agreements have been signed but they were not respected, and so the crisis prevails", she said.

But the dispatch of Mozambican troops depends on discussions with the government "because we have to look at the question of costs", she added.

Amisom was set up to support the Somali transitional government, which controls very little of the territory, to train Somali security forces and to facilitate humanitarian aid. The only countries that have so far committed ground troops to Amisom are


Uganda and Burundi. Some 51 Amisom troops have been killed since the
mission deployed in early 2007.

Macamo said the PAP was also concerned about the continuing instability in Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar and Ivory Coast. A common position had been taken, she added, to condemn all military coups or other unconstitutional seizures of power, as had happened most recently in Niger.

The PAP session had also discussed the question of continental integration, and had reached consensus that such integration should be done "with our feet firmly on the ground"

The parliamentarians thus favoured gradual integration based on strengthening the existing regional blocks. This is the position which has always been supported by the countries of SADC (Southern African Development Community), in contrast to the demands by Libyan leader Mu'ammar Gaddaffi for an immediate All-Africa Government.

The PAP has 265 members elected by the parliaments of the AU member states. Currently it merely checks on the functioning of other AU bodies, and gives them advice. It is promised that, at some later stage, the PAP will have legislative powers.

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