KAMPALA (AFP) — African Union chief Jakaya Kikwete and Uganda's
president have called on African countries to send more troops to
Somalia to stabilize the volatile country and strengthen an AU force on
During a meeting Kikwete and Yoweri Museveni, whose
country provides the largest number of men for the Somali peacekeeping
force, agreed on "the need for more troops for AMISOM, and appealed to
the countries that pledged troops to fulfill their pledges," said a
Ugandan statement made available to AFP late Friday.
been deployed in Somalia since March 2007 and is to ultimately number
8,000 men. It is currently made up of 1,650 Ugandan troops and 850
soldiers from Burundi.
Kikwete, who is also president of
Tanzania, held talks with Museveni on a variety of issues in the
Ugandan capital Wednesday and Thursday including prospects for a
regional summit on strife-ridden eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
and Museveni agreed to urgently convene a meeting to address the issue
of negative forces in Eastern DRC," the statement said.
They also "noted with concern the recent hostilities in violation of (a) 2006 ceasefire agreement" in Burundi.
years after a civil war that claimed 300,000 lives in the small central
African country, the rebel National Liberation Forces (FNL) signed a
second peace deal with newly elected authorities in September 2006, but
it has yet to be implemented.
Burundi is still struggling to
recover from the war that began in 1993, mainly pitting rebels from the
Hutu majority population against the Tutsi minority, which then
dominated the army.
A power-sharing government was formed in
2001, while conflict was still taking place, and South Africa mediated
among the different sides, until almost all the rebel groups agreed to
The AU chief and Museveni "reaffirmed their efforts to steer the implementation of the agreement".
The two leaders called on Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel chief Joseph Kony sign a final peace agreement.
of the peace accord between Kampala and the LRA, which had been
scheduled for early April, was put off because of Kony's absence. The
rebel chief is wanted under an international arrest warrant.
agreement was to put an official end to a 20-year civil war which left
tens of thousands dead and displaced nearly two million people.