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First Sierra Leone peacekeeper arrive in Mogadishu

Africa Review
Thursday, April 04, 2013

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The first peacekeepers from Sierra Leone have arrived in the Somalia capital Mogadishu.

The West African troops become the latest to join the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) contingent that continues to stay in the Horn of Africa state recovering from years of civil strife.

The Sierra Leonean troops were on arrival welcomed by the African Union’s Special Representative to Somalia, Mr Mohamed Salah Anadif.

The unit that arrived in Mogadishu Wednesday is an advanced team from the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).

Earlier reports released by Amisom Command indicated the RSLAF battalion would be deployed to southern Somalia where they would operate alongside peacekeepers from Kenya.

According to the peacekeeping mission, the Sierra Leonean contingent will enable Kenya to withdraw one battalion from the sector as per UN Security Council Resolution 2036.

Mr Anadif appreciated the efforts of the West African nation, saying: “Integration (of the RSLAF battalion) into Amisom signifies the commitment across Africa to stabilising Somalia.”

He added that their involvement would be invaluable in consolidating security in south - central Somalia.

Joining Djiboutian, Ugandan, Kenyan and Burundian contingents, the RSLAF will be the fifth party to contribute to the stabilisation of security in the Horn of Africa country including the fight against the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab, a fanatical Islamist movement vehemently opposing the Somali government.

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