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Somalia: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the capacity of the African Union force in Somalia to protect civilians caught up in the conflict; and if he will make a statement. (204827)

The African Union (AU) force in Somalia has a mandate to carry out a limited number of specific tasks in Somalia. The force is mandated to deploy 8,000 troops. At the current force level of approximately 2,400 troops, the mission does not have sufficient capacity to carry out its full mandate.

Even so, the AU troops are doing what they can to aid the civilian population in Mogadishu, particularly in the areas of water provision and medical assistance. We are grateful to Uganda and Burundi for the efforts of their soldiers and their contribution to improving the situation in Somalia. We are working with the AU and international partners to increase the strength of the force.