Europe

African Union force in Somalia needs troop surge, chief says

  • FILE - In this Sunday, July 26, 2015 file photo, an African Union (AU) soldier walks past the scene of destruction following a suicide car bomb attack outside a well-known hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia. The head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Francisco Caetano Madeira is seeking a surge in troops to help the country's security forces control areas won back from the extremist group al-Shabab. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)

    FILE - In this Sunday, July 26, 2015 file photo, an African Union (AU) soldier walks past the scene of destruction following a suicide car bomb attack outside a well-known hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia. The head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Francisco Caetano Madeira is seeking a surge in troops to help the country's security forces control areas won back from the extremist group al-Shabab. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sunday, July 26, 2015 file photo, an African Union (AU) soldier walks past the scene of destruction following a suicide car bomb attack outside a well-known hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia. The head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Francisco Caetano Madeira is seeking a surge in troops to help the country's security forces control areas won back from the extremist group al-Shabab. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)

    FILE - In this Sunday, July 26, 2015 file photo, an African Union (AU) soldier walks past the scene of destruction following a suicide car bomb attack outside a well-known hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia. The head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Francisco Caetano Madeira is seeking a surge in troops to help the country's security forces control areas won back from the extremist group al-Shabab. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)  (The Associated Press)

The head of the African Union mission in Somalia is seeking a surge in troops to help the country's security forces control areas won back from the extremist group al-Shabab.

Francisco Caetano Madeira says the Somalia National Army has been unable to take full charge of areas liberated by the 22,000-strong multinational AU force, as had been expected.

The request for an unspecified number of additional AU troops comes amid widespread concern that Somalia's military will not be ready to take over the country's security as the AU force prepares to withdraw by the end of 2020.

"It's time we made it known that AMISOM is not going to stay forever," Madeira told a high-level AU meeting Thursday.

Al-Shabab continues to carry out deadly attacks in Somalia.