Djibouti to deploy additional 1,000 troops to Somalia

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Djibouti is sending additional 1,000 troops to Somalia. The Red Sea state already has peacekeepers in Hiran region in Central Somalia. It delivered military hardware and provisions for the troops to Beletweyne Town, 315km north of the Somali capital Mogadishu, on Friday. The items included heavy trucks and machinery to be used by the fresh battalion that will be deployed to Central Somalia.

The provisions were received by the Somali government’s local officials and Colonel Osman Dubad, the commander of the Djiboutian peacekeepers serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) in the region. “All the soldiers in the battalion will be deployed to this (Hiran) region within a couple of days,” said Col Dubad.The officer underlined that the 1,000 fresh troops were going to join 1,000 Djiboutian soldiers already in Amisom’s Zone 4, which is under the control of peacekeepers from Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Djibouti, alongside Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone contributed to the 22,000 peacekeeping force under Amisom.

The AU-mandated troops are battling the al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab with a view to restoring stability in Somalia.

The deployment comes as Somalia readies for second phase of the Indian Ocean military operation against Al-Shabaab.

Mr Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Sidee, the Governor of Lower Shabelle region in Southern Somalia, last month said the time set by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud for Al-Shabaab militants to surrender to the government forces was over. The militants have been weakened.

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www.nation.co.ke

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