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Somali president welcomes AU decision to deploy 4,000 additional troops

07-28-2010 09:04 BJT

KAMPALA, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed on Tuesday welcomed the decision by African heads of state and government to deploy additional 4,000 troops to reinforce the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Sharif Ahmed told reporters after the official closure of the 15th AU summit here attended by 35 African heads of state and government that the troops will help pacify and stabilize the war torn country.

"I am very pleased with the outcome of the summit and the decision. I believe the implementation will take place. These terrorist will be defeated," Sharif Ahmed told Xinhua in an interview after the closing ceremony.

"The issue was not only about defeating the terrorist but building the institutions of Somalia to tackle the problem," he said.

The African leaders on Tuesday resolved to deploy additional 4, 000 troops to reinforce the AMISOM troops in the Horn of the African country.

The increment brings the total number of AU troops in the volatile country to over 10,000. Guinea will deploy a battalion and Intergovernmental Authority for Development, a regional body grouping Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan will send 2,000 soldiers to help pacify and stabilize the country.

AU chief Jean Ping told reporters that there is a proposal by AU to increase the troops to 15,000 to tackle terrorism in Somalia. The commission currently has a ceiling of 8,000.

Uganda and Burundi are the only two countries currently contributing about 6,100 peacekeepers to Somalia. Security experts have recommended a 27,000 strong peacekeeping force to pacify the situation.

The summit was held here under the theme: "Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa", Peace and security, the crisis in Somalia and Darfur region in Sudan also took center stage of the discussions following suicide bomb attacks by Somali militant group al Shabaab in Kampala two weeks ago that killed 76 people.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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