The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Force Commander Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh last Tuesday concluded a three-day visit to Kenyan troops serving under the peacekeeping mission in Sector two based in Jubbaland state.
The Force Commander visited the troops stationed in Dhobley, Afmadow and Kismayo thanking them for their sacrifice and effort in securing the country and liberating Somalis from the terror group Al-Shabaab.
Accompanied by the Sector Two Commander, Brigadier William Shume, and other senior officers from the force headquarters, Lt. Gen. Soubagleh said he was impressed with the good work AMISOM troops are carrying out not only to liberate Somalia from the terror groups but also to pacify the country.
He said the presence of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops in Somalia was important to the international community and thanked the Sector Commander for his leadership in fighting Al-Shabaab.
In Afmadhow, a Forward Operating Base (FOB) for KDF troops, Gen Soubagleh was received by the Commanding Officer, Lt. Col Ptiony, and proceeded to commission Afmadhow hospital which was renovated by KDF soldiers as part of their CIMIC (Civil and Military Coordination) project.
"I thank you the people of Afmadhow. You have played your role in peace and security and you are doing your best. AMISOM troops and Jubbaland forces are appreciative of your contribution and they are happy working with you," Lt. Gen. Soubagleh said.
The Force Commander handed over food and drugs donated by the soldiers to the Afmadhow District Commissioner, Mohamed Sheikh Dakane, to be distributed to the local community.
The Sector Two Commander thanked "the leadership of the DC, the local elders comprising the men and women of Afmadhow, the leadership of all the security forces in Afmadhow and the community of Afmadhow in general for supporting AMISOM efforts, specifically the KDF troops that are in Afmadhow to establish and ensure this region enjoys peace."
The District Commissioner thanked AMISOM for securing the area and enabling the local residents to go about their business peacefully.
"For human beings to enjoy complete life, they need security. Once you get peace, then you can seek education, healthcare, cultivate farms and can engage in business," Mr. Dakane added.
The area elders thanked AMISOM for securing the area and urged the troops not to give up in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
"I appeal to the Force Commander that since you're the commander of AMISOM troops in Somalia to leave a lasting legacy in stopping the massacre Al-Shabaab is perpetuating against Somali people including students," elder Abdi Olal said in support of AMISOM efforts.
The renovation of the hospital is part of KDF's appreciation to the local community for their cooperation and support in the war against terror groups in Somalia.
Gen Soubagleh also visited another FOB in Tabda, 40 kilometres from Dobley and interacted with the troops led by the Officer Commanding the camp, Major Manyonyi.
During the visit, the Force Commander laid a wreath at the monument constructed to honour KDF soldiers killed while fighting under AMISOM in Somalia and also awarded African Union medals to KDF troops deployed at the new airport in Kismayo.