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Djibouti peacekeeping contingent arrives in Somalia

(Xinhua)

14:11, December 21, 2011

MOGADISHU, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Somalia's northern neighbor Djibouti sent 200 soldiers as part of the African Union peacekeeping mission in the war-torn Horn of African nation, a top government official said on Tuesday.

The tiny horn of African country of Djibouti has previously pledged to send in a battalion of its troops to take part in the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia known as AMISOM.

"The 200 troops from Djibouti landed in Mogadishu airport and they will take part in the peacekeeping mission of AMISOM," Abdishakur Sheikh Hassan, Somali interior minister told reporters in Mogadishu.

The troops will join in at least 9, 500 AU peacekeepers already in Mogadishu. The troops, from Uganda and Burundi, have been deployed since the start of the mission in 2007.

The UN-mandated AMISOM troops have managed to drive the militant Al-Shabaab movement from the Somali capital city of Mogadishu following heavy clashes in August when the rebel group said they were withdrawing from the city for "tactical reasons".

The radical group has vowed to continue to attack the Somali government troops and AU peacekeepers in Mogadishu.

The spokesman of Al-Shabaab Ali Rageh this week threatened to target the Djiboutian troops if they arrived in Mogadishu, warning the Djibouti government and people that the group's fighters will attacs the Djiboutian soldiers.

The Kenyan government, whose troops are launching joint military offensive with Somali forces in the south of the country, said this month that they will be taking part in the African Union peacekeeping mission.

 
 
 
 
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