The African Union has agreed in principle to provide troops to allow the newly elected Somali government to be installed in the capital, Mogadishu.
African Union forces have not found it easy in Darfur
At present the Somali president and parliament are working out of Kenya, because of fears for their security.
The African Union provided no details of when the force would be deployed, or what their mandate would be.
Somalia has been without an effective government since the overthrow of President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
New Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf has asked the AU to provide between 15,000 and 20,000 troops.
Uganda is reported to have offered 2,000 soldiers for the new force.
In Sudan's Darfur region, the first major deployment of AU troops has been criticised for failing to end the violence there.
Troop delays and a limited mandate have combined to restrict their effectiveness.
Kenya is urging the Somali government to return home, but Somali officials say that it is not yet safe enough to end their exile.
Kenya has hosted a two-year peace process that led to the forming of a Somali cabinet last year.
Somali MPs in Nairobi have still to approve a new cabinet, after rejecting a previously appointed government.
During the past 13 years, rival warlords have battled for control of the country and Somalia has been divided into a patchwork of fiefdoms.
All the major warlords are involved in the two-year peace process in neighbouring Kenya that led to President Abdullahi's election, raising hopes that Somalia could soon return to normal.