Troops on aid mission to Somalia


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is sending troops to Somalia as part of a humanitarian mission following a prolonged drought there, says Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

The Defence Minister said the troops, along with assets, will be mobilised from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“The decision (to mobilise the troops) was reached after my meeting with Somalia Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omer Arteh Ghalib on Tuesday.

“During the meeting, he requested the ministry’s assistance in providing aid in terms of food, medicine and expertise of the Armed Forces’ medical unit,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He added that Somalia’s request was approved by the Cabinet.

Hishammuddin said three officers and 17 personnel from the Armed Forces Medical Core will be sent to Somalia.

“The infantry unit, consisting of an officer and 10 personnel, will provide security for the delegation. The food and medical supplies will be flown to Somalia by a Hercules C-130 aircraft,” he said.

The troops in Saudi Arabia were chosen for their experience and expertise in evacuating Malaysians from Yemen.

“Their training with Saudi’s army assisted a lot in getting them used to the surrounding environment, enabling us to plan and execute the operation in Somalia,” he said.

Malaysia is also seeking assistance for Somalia from its allies, especially Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Asean countries.
Source: Thestar