Turkey: EU cut in funds for AU troops in Somalia a mistake - InfoNews

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Turkey: EU cut in funds for AU troops in Somalia a mistake

Uganda's long-time president Yoweri Museveni, left, greets Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a welcome ceremony in the capital Kampala, Uganda, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Museveni was sworn in earlier in May for a fifth term taking him into his fourth decade in power, amid arrests of opposition politicians and a shutdown of social media. Erdogan is on a two-day state visit. Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni looks at the left.(Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)
June 01, 2016 - 9:24 AM

KAMPALA, Uganda - The European Union's reduction in funding for African Union troops in Somalia is a big mistake, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday during a visit to Uganda.

Uganda's government said last month it was reviewing its operations in Somalia after the EU cut its funding to the AU mission in Somalia by 20 per cent.

The EU has been contributing about $200 million a year for the operations of AU soldiers who are in Somalia to bolster the country's government against an insurgency by the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida. Turkey is seeking to join the EU.

Erdogan is in Uganda to promote trade and tourism opportunities during an African tour which is scheduled to include Kenya and Somalia.

Despite being ejected from major cities in Somalia, al-Shabab carries out violent attacks in the capital and other cities and has also carried out deadly attacks on countries that contribute troops to the AU force, including Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti.

In January 2015, al-Shabab attacked a hotel where the Turkish delegation was staying ahead of an earlier visit by Erdogan to Somalia, killing at least five people.

On Wednesday, Ugandan officials said Erdogan and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni held bilateral talks and will sign co-operation agreements on tourism, defence, immigration and education. Turkey said it will invest $600 million in an industrial park for agro-processing, manufacturing and energy.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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