Mogadishu peacekeepers face bombs

At least a dozen explosions are heard as Ugandan peacekeepers arrive in Mogadishu.

    Ugandan peacekeepers are being deployed in Somalia as part of a larger African Union presence [AFP]

    Tough mission

     

    The AU force is being deployed to help the interim government bring peace to the country and replace Ethiopian troops who helped mount a successful offensive against the Islamic Courts Union in December that had controlled most of southern Somalia for the previous six months.

    Uganda is one of a handful of African countries that have made a definitive commitment to the force.

    The AU has only enough pledges for half the number of troops it has said it requires.

    Your Views

    "Islam is as responsible as Christianity for wars that took place. History teaches us that religion has to be contained as 'private'."

    Justice, Shenzhen, China

    Send us your views

    Uganda has promised 1,500 troops, Burundi 1,700 and Nigeria 850, while Malawi and Ghana are also expected to contribute.

    Tuesday's formal ceremony to welcome the Ugandan troops at Mogadishu airport was attended by officials from the government of Abdullai Yusuf, the Somali president, and warlords who had once controlled the capital.

    Two more planes were expected later in the day, Somali officials said.

    The Ugandans are due to patrol Mogadishu, one of the world's most dangerous and heaving weapon-infested cities.

    Guerrillas who mount almost daily attacks on joint government-Ethiopian forces in Mogadishu have threatened to attack any peacekeepers or government allies.

    The guerrillas are suspected to be a mix of Islamists and clan militiamen fighting for control of the city.

    It is the first international peacekeeping venture in Somalia since Operation Restore Hope, the ill-fated UN-backed, US-led peace mission launched in December 1992 one year after the removal Mohamed Siad Barre, the country's former dictator.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.