The United Nations Security Council has extended the mandate for an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia for another four months days after Uganda threatened to pull out her troops over claims it is aiding rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo.
The council extended the AMISOM peacekeeping mission for four months, instead of the usual 12. The deadline had expired at the end of October.
This comes a day after a deadly car bomb exploded on Wednesday near the country’s parliament building in the capital Mogadishu, police said. While it was not clear who was responsible, Mogadishu has frequently been targeted by al Shabaab.
Somalia wants help strengthening its poorly equipped and often ill-disciplined military that is more of a loosely affiliated umbrella group of rival militias than a cohesive fighting force loyal to a single president.
There are 17,600 U.N.-mandated peacekeepers helping battle the Islamist rebels in Somalia. Ugandan troops make up more than a third of those peacekeepers, but they have threatened to withdraw in protest over accusations made in a U.N. report.
The confidential report, which was leaked to news agency Reuters, calls for sanctions on those who violated an arms embargo.
Even though Uganda has publicly stated its threat to withdraw troops from peacekeeping missions unless the report is changed, though U.N. Security Council diplomats said a Ugandan delegation that came to New York last week did not formally raise the matter.
In September, Somalia inaugurated President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud – elected in the first vote of its kind since 1991, when Barre was ousted by the warlords, leaving the African nation without an effective central government.