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AU, Somali forces to launch operations to secure poll

MOGADISHU (SD) – Forces of Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) will jointly conduct operation to enhance electoral security and prepare for AMISOM post 2021.

As part of the Concept of Operations, AMISOM has been reconfiguring its military, police, and civilian components. Under this, the military commanders of AMISOM and SNA have had several engagements to develop a detailed plan to implement the military aspects of the concept.

As directed by the Concept of Operations, AMISOM commanders have already established mobile and quick reaction forces within their areas of responsibility to enhance the effectiveness of military operations in countering the threat posed by Al-Shabaab militants.

The reconfiguration has enabled AMISOM to maintain operational effectiveness, respond to threats, and plan future target operations, in line with the gradual transfer of security responsibilities to the Somalia Forces. 

“The output of this meeting will inform and feed into the upcoming conference which we will have with the Somalia security forces and Somalia’s international partners. Whatever the nature of the post-2021 mission, it is imperative for all our troops in the sectors to strengthen their offensive capability,” said AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya.

“I appreciate the enduring work AMISOM forces have done in the sectors to ensure security and stability in Somalia. However, there is the need to generate a revised joint AMISOM/SNA realistic, workable, and fixed concept of operations, which will respond appropriately to threat assessments and an assessment of the friendly forces,” he said. 

The Deputy Force Commander of AMISOM in charge of Operations and Plans, Maj. Gen. William Kitsao Shume, told the commanders that while challenges exist, great progress has been made.

“Our mandate is to degrade Al-Shabaab, which we continue to do since we came into

Somalia. We have secured population centres which gives the local population the freedom to go about their day-to-day activities,” said Maj. Gen. Shume.

AU mission troops have been helping Somali forces against al-Shabaab militants in different parts of the horn of Africa nation for the past decade.

In 2007, African Union deployed troops following a call by Somali government led the then president Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed.

The mission helped the country’s forces dislodge al-Shabaab militants from the capital in 2011.

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