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The United Nations Security Council has approved substantial additional support for the African Union force in Somalia. Greater funding and troop levels will increase the pressure on Islamist militants al-Shabab.
The United Nations Security Council voted to increase troop levels and funding for the African Union force in Somalia on Wednesday.
In an unanimous vote, the council voted to more than double the financial support to AMISOM - The African Union Mission in Somalia - from about $250 million to about $550 million.
Troop levels will rise from 12,000 to 17,731, and helicopter contingents will be enabled for the first time.
The aim is going after Islamist militants.
[Mark Lyall-Grant, UK Ambassador to the United Nations]:
"This resolution gives AMISOM the troops and resources necessary to enable it to effectively capitalize on the gains already made and to increase the military pressure on al-Shabab. I'm grateful for colleagues support during the negotiations on this resolution."
Resolution 2036 was passed on the eve of an international conference in London to discuss measures to tackle instability in Somalia and piracy off its shores.
But to some on the council, the resolution did not go far enough.
[Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations]:
"We regret that this council did not include support from maritime assets for AMISOM at this stage. We consider maritime assets valuable in achieving AMISOM's security objectives and we hope this council will revisit this discussion in the coming months."
After the vote, Lyall-Grant provided further details about the resolution.