Somalia: AMISOM Force Commander Tours Bases in South Central Somalia

Lt. Gen. Jim Beesigye Owoyesigire, the Force Commander of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), has concluded a weeklong extensive tour of Forward Operating Bases in all the six sectors where AU troops operate.

The Force Commander who assessed the security situation and civil-military projects undertaken by AMISOM in support of local populations in its areas of operation, also interacted with troops in Jowhar, HirShabelle State; Baledogle in the Lower Shabelle region; Dhobley in Lower Jubba region; Beletweyne in Hiiraan region; Baidoa in the South West State and Kismayo, in Jubbaland State.

In the Lower Jubba region the Force Commander called upon Somalis to support joint efforts by the national army and the AU forces to end the Al Shabaab insurgency.

The Sector Chief of Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) in Dhobley, Colonel Constance Sikalumbi said plans are at advanced stage to renovate the Dhobley District Hospital, to improve its services, to enable it cater for more locals. Dhobley residents currently depend on the AMISOM Level II Hospital within the military base for their medical needs.

"There is a consignment of drugs that we expect to arrive soon to help with the management of diseases," said Col. Silakumbi, who highlighted plans by the sector to undertake various community engagement and sensitization programmes. The programmes include gender, education and extra-curricular activities for youth in the area.

The Force Commander awarded outgoing troops with service medals in recognition of their distinguished service and sacrifices, in Somalia's stabilization and peacebuilding processes. He presided over a similar service awards ceremony in Kismayo, where he encouraged the multinational troops in the sector to work closely with the Somali National Army and the Jubbaland security forces in order to reap more results in the fight against terrorism.

He expressed satisfaction with the prevailing stability in Kismayo and its environs, as a result of the continuing collaboration between AMISOM and local forces.

Separately, the Force Commander held talks with the Jubbaland Deputy President, H.E Mohamud Sayid Aden, during a courtesy call on him at the seaside presidential palace.

Their discussions touched a wide range of issues including the security of the region and planned joint military operations. "Our discussions focused on our collaboration in military operations against the the enemy - and which the police, the intelligence and the Somali National Army(SNA) are taking part; the liberation of areas still under the control of Al-Shabaab; support to the Jubbaland forces and the integration of the Darwish militia in their fold," divulged the deputy president.

Lt. Gen Owoyesigire pledged AMISOM's support to the military operations, which will be led by the SNA.

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