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Amisom repositions troops in Somalia in preparation for pull out

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MOGADISHU, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said it is undertaking a series of troop movements, aimed at re-aligning contingent compositions in various forward operation bases across Somalia as part of exit strategy.

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Francisco Caetano Madeira, said the strategic troop movements will continue, without disrupting the provision of the existing security services.

Madeira said in a statement released on Saturday night that the re-alignment of the troop composition will ensure the safety of the people of Somalia, who remain at the core of AMISOM’s operational consideration.

“The realignment of our troops in forward operating bases across the sectors including the movement of Ethiopian military contingents who are currently seen crossing the border from and into Somalia, represents calculated activities, in readiness for the transitioning of security responsibilities to the Somali National Security Forces,” he said.

AMISOM has kicked off plans to exit the Horn of Africa nation by training the local security officers.

The Pan-African body’s mission will reduce its troops by 1,000 by December, followed by further cuts next year, an exercise expected to end by 2020 as part of its exit strategy.

However, AMISOM’s exit is also pegged on the ability of the Somali National Security Forces, particularly the SNA to ably take over the security of the country.

Madeira lauded the Somali security forces for their determination and focus in completing all training and ensuring they are prepared to assume security responsibilities over territories that are currently secured by AMISOM.

The UN Security Council Resolution 2372 (2017) calls for a gradual, conditions-based, withdrawal of AMISOM troops from Somalia, following an intensive training and upskilling of Somalia’s National Security Forces.

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