Malaysia is sending troops to Somalia on a humanitarian mission to assist in the fight against famine in the East African country.
“I can confirm the report and the details will be given when the delegation led by Somali Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arte, which has been visiting Malaysia, returns to the country,” Somalia’s information minister, Mohamed Abdi Hayir Mareye, told VOA Somali.
Malaysian Defense Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin said that his country will send three officers and 17 personnel from the Armed Forces Medical Core to Somalia according to the VOA report.
“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,” the minister told the media in Kuala Lumpur
During the meeting, between Somalia Deputy Prime Minister Arteh and Malaysia’s defense minister with other senior Malaysian officials, the Somali delegates appealed to Malaysia for assistance in providing aid and the security of the access roads, and Malaysia immediately responded to the request. In addition, Malaysia will ask its allies in the Gulf and Asia to assist Somalia according to a Somali diplomat.
Somalia’s parliament has asked nations in the region to work together to help the country secure humanitarian aid access to reach 6.2 million people affected by the current drought in the aid-dependent Horn of Africa nation.
“There is a fear that the aid falls into the wrong hand, especially the areas where the government has no authority. And another fear is about security, and both are delaying any aid meant to the needy people in the areas,” a government source told VOA.