Igad: 2 000 troops to Somalia

2010-07-05 21:14

Addis Ababa - East Africa's regional organisation Igad on Monday pledged the rapid deployment of 2 000 troops to beef up the African Union's mission in Somalia (Amisom).

The announcement was made in the final statement of an Inter-Governmental Authority on Development's heads of state meeting in Addis Ababa but did not specify which of its six members might volunteer the troops.

"The summit regrets that the approved level of Amisom troops has not been achieved thus far; and decides to deploy 2 000 peacekeepers under Amisom to Somalia immediately," the statement said.

A rule preventing neighbouring countries from sending troops theoretically leaves Uganda - which contributes half of the current Amisom deployment - as the only Igad member state in a position to send soldiers to Somalia.

But a senior Igad official told reporters after the Addis Ababa meeting that there was nothing stopping other member countries from sending troops.