The African Union today announced a massive escalation of its ongoing war in Somalia, with pledges to send another 4,000 AU troops from a number of nations, primarily from Djibouti and Guinea, to fight the US-backed operation.
Officials insisted that beyond the escalation, more changes in the war are still under consideration. These 4,000 troops are above and beyond the additional troops Uganda is reportedly planning to send. The Obama Administration has promised considerable funding and equipment for the African Union troops, and the US is also reportedly providing other, non-specific support to the operations.
The African Union war in Somalia has gained considerable attention in recent weeks, following the Uganda ‘World Cup’ bombings. The al-Shabaab group, a Somali insurgent faction, took credit for the bombing as retaliation for civilian killings by the AU troops, and has demanded the AU leave Somalia.
But though leaked internal reports suggest that the African Union realizes the war is going poorly, largely as a result of the large number of civilians AU troops are killing in the nation, it seems the current strategy is to throw more troops at the war in the assumption that they may be able to prop up the self-proclaimed Somali government.