Uganda gov't vows to continue peacekeeping mission in Somalia, beefs up security for AU summit

08:06, July 15, 2010      

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Ugandan government on Wednesday said it will not abort the peacekeeping mission in Somalia after al Shabaab, a Somali armed faction claimed responsibility for the deadly bomb attacks here that killed 74 people, a statement said on Wednesday.

According to the statement of Uganda's foreign ministry, Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) contingent in the Horn of the African country under African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) shall not be withdrawn despite threats by al Shabaab.

"Uganda's commitment and support towards the objectives of the AMISOM still remains firm and UPDF contingent in that country shall not be withdrawn," it said.

Meanwhile, the ministry dismissed rumors that the AU summit scheduled to held in Kampala later this month would be called off following the attacks at two sites in Kampala suburb late Sunday night.

"The government would like to inform the general public and the international community at large that 15th ordinary session of assembly of the AU heads of state and government will take place in Kampala as scheduled," said the statement.

"The cowardly acts of the terrorist group of July 11 should not be allowed to scare peace loving people from attending the AU summit whose theme is aimed at addressing critical challenges facing Africa in health, energy, infrastructure and food security, " it added.

Ugandan government has put in place sufficient security measures to ensure the safety of attending AU heads of state, it said.

Patrick Muganda Guma, the ministry's spokesperson told reporters at the Uganda Media Centre that over 40 African heads of state and government have already confirmed their attendance.

The AU summit scheduled for next Monday will also address peace and security on the African continent, including the situation in the war torn Somalia, according to the statement.

The twin bomb explosions tore a huge crowd watching the World Cup final at Kyandondo Rugby Club in a suburb east of Kampala and an Ethiopian restaurant, south of Kampala, killing at least 74 people.

Al Shabaab, an armed faction fighting the Somali Transitional Government with known links with al Qaeda has claimed responsibility of the deadly attacks.

Source: Xinhua


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