Djibouti has started sending a battalion of new troops to neighbouring war-torn Somalia, as African Union peacekeeping troops continue efforts to stabilize the nation.
The first flight carrying over 200 soldiers safely landed on Thursday morning at Beletweyn airport and were welcomed by Somali government regional officials together with the AMISOM officers.
Djibouti is one of the countries that contributes troops to the African Union-led peacekeeping force in Somalia, with more than 1,000 troops part of the mission from the tiny East African nation.
Other countries with troops in Somalia include Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Ethiopia.
Djibouti’s foreign minister Mohamoud Ali Yusuf revealed last month while attending a rare IGAD summit in the Somali capital Mogadishu that his nation will be deploying further troops to the country.
Although al-Shabaab militants were driven out of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, as well as major towns, three years ago, the militants are still bunkered down across much of the countryside.
Somalia hasn’t had an effective central government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, making it a haven for terrorists, pirates and illicit arms dealers.
Published: February 12, 2015