Countries want peace in Somalia, but no major offer of troops - Ban
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon complained Wednesday that governments in the United Nations have called for a peacekeeping force in troubled Somalia, but none has volunteered to lead it with large ground troops to stabilize the country, dpa reported.
Ban offered a rare glimpse into the working of the UN system in which members made loud proposals but failed to back them up with resources and manpower, the two components needed to deploy peacekeeping forces around the world.
On Tuesday, the UN Security Council met to discuss mounting piracy acts in the high seas of Somali coast and several council members called for peacekeepers in war-torn Somalia where the president of the transitional government has been fighting with the legislature on the appointment of a new prime minister.
Ban said in an end-of-the-year press conference that he was disappointed by the lack of support for Somalia. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who attended the council meeting on Tuesday, offered US logistics and training, but no ground troops in Somalia.
"The danger of anarchy in Somalia is clear and present," Ban said. "So is the need to act. I have spoken with leaders of 50 countries and three international organizations about setting up a multinational force."
"Not one nation has volunteered to lead," he said.
"The stabilization force in Somalia may not be materialized this time," Ban said. He said UN peacekeeping officials also assessed that the situation on the ground is not favourable for the deployment.
He said no governments have come forward with contributions of sizable ground troops despite their demands for a UN peace force to stabilize Somalia. He described the attitude of some governments in this instance as "negative."
Ban said the UN has "limited options" to deal with the "very volatile and dangerous" situation in Somalia because of its lack of resources and troops for an effective peacekeeping operation there.
The council on Tuesday allowed governments to take forceful military action to fight piracy off the Somali coast and on land.
Council members said piracy has become a symptom of Somalia's economic and social woes and only an international intervention could help the transitional government in Mogadishu.