UN: Al-Shabab a threat to Somalia

UN: Al-Shabab a threat to Somalia

A United Nations report says al-Shabab fighters have become a serious threat to Somalia and a growing concern for Western nations, Press TV reported.

Twenty years of civil war has brought Somalia virtually to its knees and on top of it is the issue of pirating in international waters where they have created havoc, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the Security Council on Monday.

Somalia will be in the UN spotlight with a debate on the strife-torn African country at the UNSC on Thursday and a top level ministerial meeting on the conflict at the UN General Assembly summit next week, AFP quoted him as saying.

Ban said he has made a new appeal to Somalia's transitional government to end its internal strife.

Amid repeated political battles, the country's president was forced to dissolve the cabinet as the parliament speaker resigned.

The transitional government is scheduled to end in August 2011, but it has so far achieved little, analysts said.

Some 7,200 troops in a poorly equipped African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are in fight with al-Shabab to stop the domination of fighters over the Somali capital.

With thousands reported dead in Mogadishu this year, the UN report said the city's "already weak health services are struggling to cope with casualties."

Ban said the international financial crisis has hit efforts to boost the African peacekeeping force. The United Nations does not have the resources to pay Somali police and civil servants nor fully compensate AMISOM troops.

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