June 1, 2012 · 8 Comments
Djibouti troops arrive in central Somali town of Beledweyne in Hiiraan region (Hiiraan Online/Photo)
LAS ANOD — The second wave of peacekeeping force from Djibouti has landed in Somalia’s central town of Beledweyne on Friday to replace Ethiopian troops and help bring stability in the troubled Hiiraan region.
Some 50 soldiers were welcomed by regional and tribal leaders as a part of a planned deployment by African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to expand peacekeeping to central Somalia.
The deployment comes days after a commander from Djibouti forces serving under AMISIOM in Mogadishu visited Beledweyne on Wednesday to assess the situation on the ground.
Locals have welcomed the deployment and said that Djibouti forces are highly preferred over the Ethiopians. They stated that Djibouti troops not only spoke a common language with the locals but also that Djibouti does not see Somalia as a threat unlike Ethiopia.
Djibouti plans to deploy a total of about 850 troops in the war-torn nation.
Somali forces aided by thousands of Ethiopian troops captured the central Somali town from al-Shabab Islamist militants in December 31, 2011.
June 1, 2012Follow @somalilandpress