AMISOM-Djiboutian troops deploy in central Somalia town 22 Sep 22, 2012 - 7:14:51 PM
BELEDWEYNE, Somalia Sep. 22, 2012 (Garowe Online) - Hundreds of Djiboutian soldiers have arrived in the central Somali town of Beledweyne on Saturday to take part of African Union peacekeeping forces (AMISOM) serving in Somalia since 2007, Garowe Online reports.
AMISOM-Djiboutian troops in Beledweyne
Local officials, witnesses and journalists have confirmed the arrival of an estimated contingent of 300 Djiboutian soldiers in Beledweyne. The troops arrived in Beledweyne by road, via the Ethiopian border, the sources added.
Journalists photographed heavily armed soldiers marching with big trucks and gun turrets in the background.
Col. Osman Dubad, the Djiboutian contingent leader, told local media that the Djiboutian troops have deployed in Beledweyne to participate in the AMISOM peacekeeping operation in Somalia, while adding that “more” Djiboutian soldiers would be arriving soon in Beledweyne. He pledged that the Djiboutian contingent of AMISOM forces would partake in social matters, such as assistance with education and health matters.
Beledweyne is the provincial capital of Hiran region, located strategically along the Shabelle River, near the Somali-Ethiopian border.
Speaking to media, local officials said Somali troops aided by AMISOM forces would soon expand operations to other districts of Hiran region, particularly Bula Burte and Jalalaksi districts.
In early 2012, Ethiopian troops had liberated Beledweyne from Al Shabaab insurgent group and the new arrival of AMISOM forces aims to bolster security in the region.