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New York -
A top United Nations official says the war against al-Shabaab militant forces in Somalia has “ground to a halt” and needs a surge of almost 4 400 more African Union troops and massive UN assistance to break the stalemate and avoid failure.
Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the Security Council on Wednesday that the UN-endorsed AU force now in Somalia, and the Somali military, lack “the capacity to push beyond areas already recovered” from al-Shabaab in the past 18 months.
Eliasson recommends that the AU contingent be boosted by 4 395 troops.
The UN also wants another 1 000 troops for a UN guard force to prevent suicide attacks as well as 840 police officers.
If authorised by the Security Council that would boost the force to about 24 000 personnel. - Sapa-AP