STORY: UN BEGINS SUPPORT TO SOMALI NATIONAL ARMY
SOURCE: AU/UN IST
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CREDIT REQUIRED: AU/UN IST
DATELINE: 8th MARCH 2014, BAIDOA, SOMALIA
The United Nations through the UN Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) has made good on its promise to provide non- lethal support to members of the Somali National Army (SNA) operating alongside the troops from the AU Mission in Somalia, as they fight against the Al Qaeda linked extremist group al Shabaab.
As part of UN Security Council Resolution 2124, UNSOA will provide specific sustenance which includes items such as food rations, water, transport, fuel, tents and in theater medical evacuations for personnel injured in battle to the Somali Army operating with AMISOM. The SNA has been struggling to maintain its troops battling the insurgence and the UN support financed from a trust fund of voluntary contributions could not come at a better time.
The SNA commander in Baidoa, General Ibrahim Yarow welcomed the UN support to the National army saying this will go along way in boosting the troops morale.
“This is the first time we are receiving anything like this, and we are thankful for the food, as we need it.”
The first consignment of food items to the soldiers included bags of rice, Sugar, pasta, dried beans, tomato paste, tuna fish and canned beef stew.
The Somali National Army supported by AMSOM partners have renewed their operations to liberate areas under the control of Islamic extremist al Shabaab.
In the last one week, renewed joint operations between SNA and AU forces saw the capturing Wajid, Buudhubow and Weel Dheyn in the Gedo region as well as secured the towns Rabdhure, Ted and Hudur in the Bakool region from the control of the Al Shabaab terrorist group.
“The Government, the UN and the Somali people have all supported us. We need to liberate our people and rid the country of these insurgents, Al shabaab don’t want to follow law and order.” Says General Ibrahim Yarow. “We will liberate the rest of the country the same way we have done in Bakool, thanks to our Somali National Forces and AMISOM soldiers.”
The renewed operations by the Somali and AU allied forces have already seen the al shabaab militants on the back-foot. As a sign of desperation, the radical fighters have in some areas burnt buildings and looted property belonging to civilians as they flee the area the once occupied.
The new support to the SNA from the United Nations will run for an initial two years period after which it will be reviewed. UN Resolution 2124 also provides for an extended AU force that has seen the joining of the Ethiopian National Defense Force into the ranks of AMISOM.