African Union peacekeepers to seek Gulf aid in Somalia

African Union peacekeepers to seek Gulf aid in Somalia

Head of African Union's mission in Somalia says European funding cuts have hit operations against al-Shabaab

By Andrew Ross

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – The head of the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia said Friday his operations against al-Shabaab militants have been hit by European Union funding cuts.

Speaking in the Kenyan capital, Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira said the AU is now seeking aid from Gulf countries.

Madeira -- who was addressing a news conference -- told reporters that Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia had also agreed to contribute helicopters to African Union forces to aid it in fighting Somali-based al-Shabaab militants.

Officials had “undertaken a trip to the Gulf countries to sensitize those countries on the need to support the African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM],” Madeira said.

Madeira’s remarks comes as Turkey’s president is in Somalia where he today opened a new embassy and said his country plans to open a military training center in the capital, Mogadishu.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was speaking after an earlier meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta where the Turkish leader said Ankara would help in stabilizing Somalia.

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