The African Union (AU) asked the United Nations, Thursday, to increase its AMISOM peacekeeping force in war-torn Somalia from the current 12,000 to 17,700, amid mounting attacks by Shebab Islamist rebels, who control much of the southern part of the country, according to Agence France Presse. Monica Juma, Kenya's ambassador to the UN, who presided over a meeting of the AU's Peace and Security Council in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, highlighted the need for "logistical support in order to optimise the capability of the AMISOM troops," and to strengthen the "capability of the TFG (transitional government forces) and allied forces in order... to begin to create a Somalian security force."
AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra said the African forces were now in a position to put down both the Shebab and Somali pirates. He said, "Whatever investment the international community is ready to make for Somalia, it would be really serving both causes. And in the same time assist nation building and a post-conflict peace consolidation."