Uganda deploys air force to pursue militants in Somalia

August 7, 2012 17:30

KAMPALA - Uganda's military, which forms the backbone of the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, has deployed an air force contingent to reinforce troops who hope to retake a city from al-Qaida-linked militants before the government's mandate expires.

A combined force in Somalia is planning an onslaught on Kismayu, Somalia's second biggest city which is a hub for the al Shabaab Islamist militants, before Aug. 20.Weakened by internal divisions and financial constraints, the rebels have surrendered territory in Mogadishu, central and southern Somalia where they are also battling Ethiopian forces as well as Kenyan soldiers now integrated into the African Union mission AMISOM.

A US-backed plan calls for Somalia to establish a legitimate government accepted by fractious clans and a new parliament and constituent assembly to replace institutions plagued by corruption and infighting.

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