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Somalia: EU suspends funding to AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia

Mogadishu Sunday 4 October 2009 SMC

The struggling African Union (AU) Mission in Somalia (AMIS) has suffered a further blow with the European Union (EU) suspending financial support for it due to alleged lack of accountability by the AU, which deployed the mission to pacify the Horn of Africa nation.

Also, it has been discovered that malnutrition, rather than poison, was responsible for the death of at least two Ugandan AMIS peacekeepers who died mysteriously.

EUs financial pullout has left the over 1,500 soldiers (in AMIS) without allowances for now three months, Uganda Defence Minister Crypus Kiyonga reveals.

It is largely due to AUs failure to account for funds in recent months, Dr. Kiyonga said, without giving further details.

The US and Britain have, however, maintained their supporting for the 54-month old mission, as they have continued contributing funds and equipment..

Uganda and Burundi, whose troops constitute AMIS, have lost more than a dozen soldiers in various attacks, allegedly masterminded by Islamic militants.

"We owe our soldiers money in accumulated arrears," the Defence Minister said. ''The delay was caused by African Union because the donors have withheld the money due to accountability issues."

He however said that the matter will be resolved soon.

On the death of the Ugandan peacekeepers, Dr Kiyonga said findings by the World Health Organisation into the causes of the strange ailments that killed at least two Ugandan peacekeepers showed the deaths were caused by malnutrition and not poison as the Al-Shabaab rebels had claimed.

The investigations indicate that it was lack of Vitamin B1 in the food they w ere eating,'' Dr. Kiyonga said, adding that the situation had been ameliorated b y ensuring nutritious meals for the soldiers.

Stung by the nutrition deficiency among the peacekeepers, the UN has taken over the role of providing food, transport and medical support to the 5,000 AMIS peacekeepers.

Source: Relief Web

Somaliweyn Media Center “SMC”

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Muqdisho Somalia

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