Voice of America (Washington, DC)

28 December 2013

Somalia: Djibouti to Send More Troops to Somalia

Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh says his country will send more troops to violence-ridden Somalia within the next three weeks.

Guelleh told VOA's Somali service his country will deploy one more battalion to boost its troop presence in central Somalia. He said operations will soon begin to liberate the town of Bulobarde in central Somalia, where the al-Qaida-linked group al-Shabab has carried out many attacks.

Djibouti is one of the countries that contributes troops to the African Union-led peacekeeping force in Somalia, which has endured more than two decades of chaos and conflict.

Bulobarde is about 200 kilometers north of the capital, Mogadishu, where al-Shabab militants periodically carry out bombings.

The militant group once controlled most of the Somali capital, but it was driven out of Mogadishu and other major Somali cities by the African Union-led peacekeeping force.

Al-Shabab is still considered a threat. In September, the group claimed responsibility for an assault on a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, that killed more than 60 people.

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