Bahrain News Agency
Sunday, June 03, 2012
The first Djibouti peacekeepers have arrived Beledweyne town in central Somalia, some 206 miles (332 km) north of the capital Mogadishu, to replace Ethiopian troops and help bring stability in the troubled Hiiraan region, media reports said Sunday.
One hundred 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. 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.