The Australian Government announced today that it will provide additional support to African Union troops confronting terrorist organisation Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the $2 million contribution to the United Nations Trust Fund for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) would assist the African Union troops to build on security gains made late last year.
"Al-Shabaab continues to pose a threat in Somalia, more broadly in Africa, and well beyond its borders including in Australia, and much works lies ahead," Mr Smith said.
"Australia's contribution will support the expansion of the AMISOM mission to a full strength of 17,000 troops, drawn from Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Sierra Leone."
It builds on earlier donations by Australia of tactical bomb suits and counter Improvised Explosive Device equipment to the UN Support Office for AMISOM.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said Australia recognises the important work of the African Union and its member states in dealing with regional security challenges.
"The international community needs to support the African Union's efforts, and Australia will continue to play its part in helping to address Somalia’s humanitarian, security, piracy and terrorism challenges,” Mr Rudd said.
Australia also contributes to international counter-piracy efforts off the coast of Somalia, including through the deployment of the ANZAC Class frigate, HMAS Parramatta, which is flexibly tasked between US-led Combined Maritime Forces Combined Task Forces 150 (counter terrorism) and 151 (counter-piracy).
LONDON, 24 JANUARY 2012
Mr Smith’s Office: 02 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392 Defence: 02 6127 1999