On Tuesday, Ban called on world countries to provide the African Union-led peacekeeping force in Somalia with attack helicopters and armored troop carriers to be used against al-Shabab group, The Associated Press reported.
The UN chief said, “The political, security, and development gains made so far in Somalia are still reversible,” as al-Shabab “continues to undermine security throughout the country, including in (capital) Mogadishu.”
“Allowing al-Shabab to continue its training and conduct terrorist activities from bases in Somalia will not only undermine peace in Somalia, but also that of the wider region,” he added.
On June 19, members of the group attacked the UN compound in Mogadishu, killing 14 people including a UN Development Program staffer and three UN contractors.
Somalia did not have an effective central government from 1991 until August 2012. In September 2012, MPs meeting in Mogadishu elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the new president of Somalia with a big majority.
The government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab for the past six years and is propped up by a 17,000-strong African Union force from countries including, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, and Djibouti.