Addis Ababa, Jul 8, 2009 — Somalia’s prime minister signaled his regime is expanding the 4, 300 strong African Union troops by several thousand as more are expected to arrive in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.
Abdirashid Ali did not say where the troops will come from, but sources close to the Prime Minister’s office have indicated they might be from Nigeria, Djibouti, Rwanda, Malawi, Sierra Leone and Ghana.
There are currently 4, 300 African Union military troops from Uganda and Burundi in Mogadishu, however their mandate is limited only to peacekeeping.
The announcement comes one week after heavy fightings killed some 105 people and injured 382 — the conflict also left more than 204,000 people displaced.
Meanwhile, Somali President Sharif is in Addis Ababa for talks with Ethiopian leaders and AU ambassadors from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Before his arrival to the Ethiopian capital, Sheikh Sharif visited Uganda, Sudan, Kenya and Djibouti to request the full strength of 8,000 troops.
The troops are expected to arrive in Somalia soon to help with the war against Al Shabaab rebels who said to be just 2 kilometers from the Presidential Villa.