UN extends African Union peacekeeper mandate in Somalia

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The UN Security Council has extended by six months the mandate of African Union peacekeepers in Somalia, torn by clan wars, the organization said in a unanimous resolution.
UNITED NATIONS, August 21 (RIA Novosti) - The UN Security Council has extended by six months the mandate of African Union peacekeepers in Somalia, torn by clan wars, the organization said in a unanimous resolution.

The African Union has been carrying out peacekeeping missions in Somalia on behalf of the United Nations. The East African nation has suffered from the ongoing fight between various groups for control over the capital and southern regions of the country since warring clans overthrew President Siad Barre in 1991.

A transitional government, which was formed in 2004, is backed by the UN and has been battling with Islamist insurgents. Pirate attacks on ships have been rife off the Somalia coast, including on vessels carrying UN aid to the country.

In February, the UN Security Council approved sending 1,700 Ugandans to Somalia as part of the African Union's peacekeeping force, which is eventually expected to reach 8,000 in number.

Troops from other African nations - Burundi, Ghana and Nigeria - have been delayed due to a shortage of funds.

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