Uganda: Somali government needs time

June 3, 2011 at 5:09 PM

KAMPALA, Uganda, June 3 (UPI) -- President Yoweri Museveni says Uganda will withdraw its troops from Somalia unless the interim government is given another year before elections.

Museveni argued Thursday at an international conference in Kampala, Uganda, that holding an election this year will only give the al-Shabaab militants a chance to reorganize, the BBC reported. The militants would be able to "cause problems and undermine the battlefield gains so far obtained," he said.

Uganda and Burundi have supplied the African Union troops supporting the U.N.-backed interim government. About 5,000 members of the Amisom force are from Uganda.

Interim Somali President Sharif Sheik Ahmed also called for a delay in elections. His government's mandate is scheduled to expire Aug. 20.

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