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Saturday, July 17, 2010

African Union vows to defeat Somali terrorists


African Union vows to defeat Somali terrorists - The African Union (AU) will use all the relevantlaws within its reach to defeat terrorism and terrorist groups, a senior AU official said here Friday.

African Union's Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ramtane Lamamra, said alt hough investigations into the Ugandan World Cup terrorist attacks were still underway, the continental body was prepared to tackle the scourge of terrorism using the laws within its means.

"We are not issuing a comprehensive statement on the Kampala terrorist attacks until the investigations are complete,' Ambassador Lamamra told PANA.

He said the AU would put the various anti-terrorism treaties which have been passed in recent times to reactivate the continental battle against terrorism.

"The AU is committed to the fight against terrorism and to defeat terrorists and terrorism," the Commissioner said.

African leaders passed a resolution during a meeting in Sirte, Libya, to pursue all measures to stop the financing of terrorism and terrorist organizations.

Ambassador Lamamra said the AU had treaties to guard against terrorism which would be implemented.

Somalia's Al Shabaab, linked to the global terrorist network, the Al Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Kampala on 11 July, which targeted fans watching the World Cup final match.

The attack was meant to cow the Ugandan government against sending extra troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which currently has 6,000 peacekeepers.

But the attack, which also came days before the start of the African Union's regular heads of state Summit in Kampala, has been interpreted as a direct affront against the AU.

Sources at the continental organization said there had been recent efforts to re-examine the AU's anti-terrorism strategies in light of the recent attacks which had directly threaten the organisation.

An AU official, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said the attack raised issues of concern to the AU, but was also an indication that the Al Shabaab was sensing defeat from its war inside Somalia.

Addis Ababa - Pana 17/07/2010

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