Kenya offers troops to Somalia

Nov. 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Kenya says it is prepared to send troops to boost the African Union force fighting militant Islamists in Somalia, officials said.

Kenya launched a military effort in Somalia last month to expel militants from regions near the Kenyan border. Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula said he could easily offer several battalions to help keep the peace in Somalia, BBC Kenya reported.

The Kenyan government has accused the group al-Shabaab, which controls much of southern and central Somalia, of a number of abductions in Kenyan territory. The militant Islamist group has denied the allegations and says it will retaliate against Kenya for its incursion into Somali territory.

The BBC said the AU has about 9,000 troops in Somalia, mostly in Mogadishu. The AU force is currently made up of Ugandan and Burundian soldiers although Djibouti and Sierra Leone are expected to have troops in Somalia by the end of the year.

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