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Ban warns of new threats to UN

UN peacekeeping efforts face growing dangers from non-traditional threats such as suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices, secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has warned.

He said the UN. must ensure that peacekeepers have the necessary training and specialized skills to face the threats. These threats "are not new to the UN, but they are more intense," he added.

Mr Ban spoke as the main UN compound in Mogadishu came under attack from al Qaida-linked militants . Somali police said gunmen had breached the compound and were inside and the militant group al-Shabab said shortly after the attack that its fighters "are now in control of the entire compound and the battle is still ongoing."

Mr Ban's comments came at the start of a three-day visit to China to meet newly-appointed president Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang. Their discussions are expected to include China's growing involvement in U.N. affairs, along with international topics including tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

He said peacekeepers need to react rapidly and gather and analyse information on remote areas. In order to ensure that capability, the UN is deploying drones for the first time to its mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mr Ban also praised China's commitment to peacekeeping efforts. China has dispatched 22,000 troops to 23 missions, more than the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council combined.


From Belfast Telegraph