Costly peace-keeping in Somalia

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

NEW YORK (Reuter) - A UN force for Somalia, due to replace the US-led force that has been protecting famine relief supplies since last December, will cost more than dollars 1.5bn (pounds 1.1bn) during its first year of operations, a UN report said. This would make Unosom, as it is to be known, one of the costliest field operations in UN history. The UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (Untac), sent a year ago, is estimated to cost more than dollars 1.4bn annually.

In an earlier report that still requires Security Council approval, the UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, proposed that Unosom should consist of 20,000 troops plus 8,000 logistics support staff and some 2,800 civilians. He has suggested 1 May as the date for the formal transfer of command from the US-led Unified Task Force (Unitaf) to Unosom. Unitaf had about 37,000 troops from more than 20 countries at its peak but is now being wound down.