Nigeria’s delay in sending troops to the tottering African peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is due to the non-arrival of the military hardware to be used by the troops, President Umaru Yar’Adua has explained.
« Nigeria pledged a battalion. And we have sufficiently trained the troops for the deployment. So far, they are awaiting the supply of logistics. We have ordered the equipment (military hardware). And they have started arriving. As soon as they are fully supplied, the troops will be deployed, » he told journalists in the capital city of Abuja Thursday.
Nigeria’s pledge to deploy some 700 troops to help shore up the mission has been pending, further dealing a blow to AMISOM which was set up in January 2007 to support the Horn of Africa’s transitional governmental structures, implement a national security plan, train the Somali security forces, and to assist in creating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Only Uganda, with just a little short of the 1,500 troops pledged on the ground, has redeemed its troops pledge and kept the envisaged 8,000-string mission going, though Kenya and other nations which also pledged troops have promised to deploy them soon.
The mission was set up after Somali government forces backed by Ethiopian troops drove an Islamic movement out of the Somali capital.