Somalia welcomes further AU troop deployment

07:57, July 08, 2010      

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The Somali government on Wednesday welcomed the decision to send more troops to Somalia to reinforce the African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces already deployed in Mogadishu.

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa said on Monday that it had decided to send further 2,000 soldiers to join the already 6,000 AU troops deployed in Mogadishu. "We welcome the decision to send more troops to Somalia in order to save it," Abukar Abdi Osman, the newly appointed Somali Defense Minister told reporters in Mogadishu.

Somali president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed who was at the extraordinary submit appealed for more troops to beef up the besieged AU peacekeepers after Islamist rebels are advancing close to the presidential palace in Mogadishu.

Islamist rebels, who control much of south-central Somalia, have been carrying out almost daily attacks on the peacekeepers and Somali government forces holed in few blocks in restive capital Mogadishu..

It was not made clear where the troops are likely to come from but a UN resolution bars Somalia's neighboring states from sending in their troops into the war torn Horn of African nation.

Only Burundi and Uganda currently have 6,000 troops on the ground as part of the envisaged 8,000-strong UN authorized and AU mandated peacekeeping mission in Somalia

Source: Xinhua


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