AU requests Zim troops for Somalia

BY GIFT PHIRI
HARARE - Zimbabwe has received an executive order from the African Union (AU) requesting 200 troops for the international peacekeeping mission to be deployed to war-torn Somalia soon.
At the time of going to print, no response had been noted from Harare by Addis Ababa, the AU's h

ead office. But South Africa and Angola had reportedly responded, affirming their support.
It remains unclear who would finance the African-led peace keeping mission in Somalia.
But the AU has voiced concern over a spill over of the conflict to neighbouring Kenya and said in its order the crisis in Somalia was be becoming a “potent threat” to regional stability.
Zimbabwe has paid a heavy price for sending its troops to other countries. In the four years to 2000 where Harare deployed 11 000-plus troops or a third of the army to back the government of President Joseph Kabila in the DRC, government spent some Z$40.2 billion – more than 12 percent of its total revenue for the four years.
Diplomats said Zimbabwe was not in a position to send its troops to Somalia as the country was facing a severe economic crisis.

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