UN takes over

The United Nations, armed with unprecedented powers, takes on an unfamiliar peace-enforcement role today, when the US hands over command of a multinational peace-keeping force in Somalia, Reuter reports from Mogadishu.

UN troops have never before had a mandate to go on the offensive or disarm the combatants by force. They are authorised to disarm and break up militias that, over the past two years, have divided Somalia into a patchwork of clan fiefdoms.