Somali Ministry of Health Ali Mohamed Mohamud (Ali Hared) dismissed reports that troops from the Ebola-hit country of Sierra Leone will be deployed in the country, saying that it had an earlier agreement with the AU mission not to bring troops from West African countries reeling under the deadly virus that has so far killed thousands of people.
“We had met with AMISOM on this issue before and agreed not to bring troops from Ebola-hit countries,” Mr. Ali Hared told Hiiraan Online by phone from Mogadishu. “I don’t think even AMISOM itself will entertain the idea of bringing soldiers from west Africa.”
International news agencies have reported on Tuesday that Sierra Leone has isolated 800 troops headed for Somalia after one of the soldiers tested positive for EBOLA. The Sierra Leonean government denied that the sick soldier had contact with other soldiers.
“As a ministry of health, my responsibility is to make sure the health and wellbeing of the Somali people” said Mr. Ali Hared. But the very news that troops from Sierra Leone, a country affected by the virus along with Liberia and much of the west African region, could be deployed has sent shivers down the spines of Somalis across the world.
As a country riven by war for more than two decades, Somalia is ill prepared to tackle a disease such as the deadly Ebola.
Hiiraan Online were inundated with calls and emails seeking to get information about the reports saying that Sierra Leone is deploying troops to Somalia.
Health Minister said the issue is of a regional concern because if the disease is found in any country in the region it will definitely affect others as the region is interconnected. source