Baidoa — A senior U.N. official disclosed on Thursday that 3,000 AMISOM forces have been killed since their 7 year deployment in Somalia, Garowe Online reports.
U.N. Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, told reporters on Thursday that "up to 3,000 AMISOM soldiers have been killed", while fighting Al Shabaab in Somalia. Secretary Eliasson paid tribute to the fallen U.N. mandated African Union (AU) forces.
AMISOM - African Union Mission in Somalia - were initially deployed to Somalia as a peacekeeping force but after initial refusal by the U.N., the mandate still transitioned to a peace-enforcement one.
Over 10 African countries have troops in the African Union mission to Somalia the majority of those troops are from Uganda, Burundi and Kenya who joined in 2011. AMISOM have made significant gains against Al Shabaab in their 7 year deployment, capturing major cities and towns in southern and south central Somalia.
On Friday, Somali government troops backed by AMISOM forces captured the town of Awdinle in Bay region. According to sources in the region, Al Shabaab did not resist the allied forces and vacated Awdinle situated between Baidoa and Bardaale.
AL Shabaab still has a strong presence in Bay and Bakool regions despite the presence of AMISOM, Ethiopia and Somali government forces. On Thursday, Somali government forces clashed in Baidoa - the capital of Bay region - leading to two deaths.
According to Somali analysts, Ethiopia threatening to withdraw its troops from Somalia, government infighting, accusations of rape and robbery and lack of funds from the Somali Federal Government (SFG) to pursue Al Shabaaab in the region has had serious implications to security in the region.
The spate of insecurity in the region has disturbed the delivery of aid within the region. However regional officials say that they have found a solution to that problem and have contracted a private security firm to safeguard the delivery of aid within the city of Baidoa.
According to local sources in Baidoa, since the influx of aid agencies in Baidoa Galeyr Security Service Corporation who are heavily armed have been seen all around the capital of Baidoa.