Dar troops for Syria


The government has announced plans to send a contingent of 200 soldiers to Syria for the purpose of beefing up the United Nations peacekeeping mission.

This was revealed yesterday by the minister for Defence and National Service, Mr Shamsi Vuai Nahodha, when tabling his ministry’s 2012/13 budget amounting to Sh1.086 trillion.

“Because of the our troops’ good record in various peacekeeping missions across the world, the UN Security Council has requested Tanzania to send between 100 to 200 peacekeepers to Syria... and we are ready to do that,” said Mr Nahodha before attentive MPs.

The decision by the government comes at a time when global leaders and the international community have been grappling with how to cajole Syria leader, Mr Bashar al Assad, to agree to peace deal.

UN secretary general, Mr Ban Ki-moon, has appointed former UN secretary general, Mr Kofi Annan, as special envoy to Syria, but his efforts so far have failed to bear fruit.

On Sunday the Syrian army continued with its attacks on rebel strongholds in Damascus, pounding their bases with mortars, sparking the most intense fighting in the capital since the revolt erupted 16 months ago, a monitoring group said.

The government troops’ offensive, aimed at driving rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) out of Damascus, was launched soon after the foreign ministry held a press conference to deny its forces was responsible for the onslaught on Treimsa Village where at least 150 were killed.

“The regular army fired mortar rounds into several suburbs where FSA rebels are entrenched,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Add caption
The fighting was heaviest in the Tadamon, Kfar Sousa, Nahr Aisha and Sidi Qadad neighbourhoods, he said. The Local Coordination Committees, which organise anti-regime protests in Syria, said plumes of black smoke were billowing out of Tadamon on Sunday night and that loud explosions had been heard in Nahr Aisha.
Mr Nahodha told the august House yesterday that the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) was already doing preparations and the troops could leave for Syria the earliest.

If the government will leave up to the UN expectation par excellence and release 200 fighters, the number of Tanzanian peacekeepers in various United Nations mission across the world will add up to 1,281.

Mr Nahodha said currently, a total of 1,081  Tanzanians army men and women are  serving in UN peacekeeping operations in four countries, namely the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cote d’Ivoire, Lebanon and Darfur.

“We deployed these peacekeepers because we are aware of our responsibility as a country, which entails cooperating with others in making sure peace is maintained everywhere in the world,” said Mr Nahodha.
Source: The Citizen, http://www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported by Frank Kimboy
Share on Google Plus

About Abduel Elinaza

This is a short description in the author block about the author. You edit it by entering text in the "Biographical Info" field in the user admin panel.