First UN troops in Somalia

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The Independent Online
MOGADISHU (AP) - American military C-130 cargo planes delivered 63 Pakistani soldiers and their equipment to the Somali capital yesterday as the first contingent of a 500-strong United Nations force which will help to prevent looting of food aid meant for up to 2 million starving Somalis.

Colonel Isoa D. Tikoca, deputy commander of UN forces in Somalia, said the initial contingent would not be deployed until the remainder of the UN battalion is on the ground. The primary objective will then be to restore order at Mogadishu's port, where 10,000 tonnes of American sorghum has sat in a dockside warehouse for two weeks because a clan dispute has prevented aid workers from distributing it.

Aid organistaions estimate that 2,000 tonnes of food per day could be moved by truck convoys if the port were functioning properly.

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