Somaliland: US Seeks UN Backing for Somalia Peacekeeping Force
With widespread instability and the interim government under pressure from Islamists, "what we want to do is endorse the insertion of this regional peacekeeping force which many of the African states have called for, in order to provide some measure of stability there, to permit a political solution," U.S. Ambassador John Bolton told reporters.
Stressing that its sole goal was to support peace and stability in
But it also would call for a "credible dialogue" between the Islamists and
The Islamists have been steadily expanding their reach and influence in
But the Islamists defeated the coalition in June as they seized control of the capital,
ETHIOPIAN TROOPS POUR OVER BORDER
More recently, troops from
The African Union and regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, which brokered the transitional government's installation in 2004, have long been pushing for regional peacekeepers to support it.
But word of the U.S. initiative set off alarms this week when the Brussels-based International Crisis Group and European experts warned the draft could backfire by undermining the interim government, strengthening the Islamists and leading to wider war.
Because the Islamists are backed by Eritrean troops, the group said it feared that allowing Ethiopian peacekeepers in the force could transform the conflict in Somalia into a proxy war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, whose relations remain extremely tense years after a bloody border war between them.
The group said the Security Council should not take sides in
It urged the council to instead tighten the U.N. arms embargo and encourage government and Islamist leaders to hold talks aimed at a political settlement of their rivalry."People criticize us when we take action on the ground that our taking action makes the situation worse. So what is the answer -- not to take action?"