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AU recommendations conducive to peace, stability in Somalia

(Xinhua)

09:55, January 12, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday welcomed the latest proposals by the African Union (AU) to strengthen its peacekeeping mission in Somalia, known as AMISOM, saying such recommendations are conducive to peace and stability in the Horn of Africa country.

Li Baodong, Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, made the remarks at during an open debate at the UN Security Council on the current situation of Somalia.

"The AU plays a very crucial role in addressing the problem of Somalia, its requests and recommendations are something that the United Nations should attach great importance to," Li said.

Recently, the AU adopted the Strategic Concept for the Future Operations of AMISOM, calling for the growth of AMISOM troop strength, the expansion of AMISOM's areas of responsibility and the increase of the UN logistical support.

"This will be conducive to peace and stability in Somalia. China welcomes these recommendations, and we hope that the Security Council can positively respond to these recommendations," Li said.

The relevant AU recommendations should be approved by the Security Council before they are put into practice.

AMISOM, set up on Jan. 19, 2007, is an active, regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations in Somalia. AMISOM is mandated to support transitional governmental structures, implement a national security plan, train the Somali security forces, and to assist in creating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The AMISOM currently comprises Djiboutian, Ugandan and Burundian soldiers, who have been deployed since 2007 to protect the Western-backed government from the Al-Shabaah in the war- shattered capital, Mogadishu.

China is very much concerned at the grave humanitarian situation in Somalia, Li said.

"We appreciate the relief operations by the international humanitarian institutions in Somalia, and urge all the parties concerned in Somalia to fully cooperate with the relief efforts of the international community," he said.

China also called upon the international community to give more effective assistance to Somalia.

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