Hundreds of troops from the Haram’ad paramilitary unit were this morning flown from Mogadishu to Beletweyne following the entry of rebel forces in the town Monday.
Planes carrying the troops reportedly numbering 400 landed at Ugaas Khalif Airport in Beletweyne Wednesday morning. The troop are said to be the first batch and the government was on course to send in more forces.
The deployment of the troops, sources said was to prepare ground and protect the arrival of HirShabelle state president Ali Gudlawe whose attempts to travel to Beletwyene have failed since he came to office in November 2020.
Forces from the Hiiraan Revolutionary Council (HRC) Monday entered Beletweyne and occupied strategic parts of the town. There was however no clash with government forces.
The deployment of the Turkish-trained forces come amid reports that talks between President Mohamed Farmaajo and HRC co-leader General Abukar Hud in Mogadishu failed.
General Hud said in a TV interview Monday he was still in support of the HRC and that Gudlawe was not welcome in Mogadishu.
Beletweyne is the second polling centre for HirShabelle state and has 25 seats.