MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)
announced on Tuesday that some 1,000 soldiers will be withdrawn
from Somalia by Dec. 31 in line with African Union and UN
Security Council resolutions.
Representative of the African Union Chairperson for Somalia,
Francisco Madeira, stressed that the withdrawal of AMISOM troops
from Somalia will be “gradual” and “conditions-based.”
“AMISOM has begun
its drawdown from Somalia and will have its troop numbers
reduced by 1,000 by Dec. 31. Our drawdown and transition must be
gradual, conditions-based, responsible and done in a manner that
does not compromise the safety and security of the Somali
people,” Madeira told journalists in Mogadishu.
As result of this,
he said, troop movements have started in different parts of the
Horn of Africa nation and will continue for the coming as
security responsibilities start to shift to the local military.
“This is a process
of re-alignment to effect the reduction in numbers and begin the
handover of security responsibilities to Somali forces. I want
to assure all that this exercise’s being conducted with caution
to ensure the security of the Somali people is not compromised,”
Madeira said as part
of the military drawdown, the pan African body will deploy an
extra 500 police officers who will strengthen training and
mentoring for Somali Police
“The deployment of
additional police officers will help extend law and order in
Somalia hence further securing the country,” the AU envoy said.
AMISOM 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
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.
The AU envoy’s
remarks came a day after AMISOM launched a massive security
operation to flush out Al-Shabaab militants in Middle Shabelle
region in southern region.
The major offensive
comes barely a month after the country’s Oct. 14 deadly attack
killed 358 people and left several others injured.
Madeira said the
ongoing troop movements should not cause alarm, but the
withdrawal has begun earlier than expected.
“The re-alignment of
AMISOM troops is a process that must be implemented as part
African Union and UN Security Council resolutions. We are proud
and envisioned a time when we could hand over responsibility to
the Somali National Security Forces,” Madeira said.
He said the Somali
forces urgently need to be equipped with necessary weapons and
key logistical support including timely payment of stipend to
enable them to flush out the militants out of the country.
support includes provision of quality medical care and
establishment of key infrastructure - barracks and training
centers,” he said.
countries including the United States have expressed concern
that Somalia’s security forces will not be ready by then.
AMISOM is comprised
of troops drawn from Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Burundi who
are deployed in six sectors covering south and central Somalia.
Ugandan troops are
deployed in Sector 1 which comprises the regions of Banadir and
East Africa bloc to train
Somalia officials on Kenyan, Ethiopian experience
MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) --
Africa’s regional bloc said Saturday it will hold
an experience sharing workshop on federalism and devolution for
Somalia government officials in Ethiopia next week.
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Special
Mission to Somalia (IGAD SMS) said the Nov. 7-9 meeting is to
enhance the capacity and understanding of Somali government
officials and experts, learning from Ethiopian and Kenyan
experiences on federalism and devolution respectively.
“In addition, the
workshop will also provide the participants with an opportunity
to learn how institutions of the Somali Regional State
Government in Ethiopia are structured, harmonized and
functioning at the local levels,” the bloc said in a statement.
IGAD SMS has over
the years been working with the Somali government on peace
building, security and institutional capacity building process
in the country.
Senior officials and
experts from the Somalia government, as well as the regional
state administrations of Puntland, Jubaland, South West,
Galmudug, Hirrsheblle and Banadir are among delegates.
civil society organizations, youth and women groups will also
attend the two-day meeting.
Kenyan security officers pursue
Al-Shabaab after border attack
MANDERA (Xinhua) --
Kenyan security officers have launched a manhunt
for Al-Shabaab militants who on Monday attacked and burnt two
police vehicles escorting a commuter bus in Mandera county.
Mandera South Deputy
County Commissioner Daniel Bundotich said the militants sprayed
bullets on two police land-cruisers escorting passenger service
buses en-route from Nairobi to Mandera.
are still pursuing the attackers who had ambushed the passenger
bus en route to Mandera from Nairobi. No arrest has been made,”
He said the Monday
attack in Dabacity area, Mandera County which borders Somalia,
left no casualties after police in the escort engaged the
militants in a gun battle.
“We can account for
all our officers and passengers in the two bus convoy and the
burnt land cruisers but our men are on the ground pursuing the
He confirmed the
Islamist militants crossed over the porous border with Somalia
barely five kilometers from the Mandera-Nairobi road.
Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said security chiefs in the region
have laid elaborate measures to lead the area of the attackers.
The area has borne
the brunt of Al-Shabaab attacks in the past after the militants’
ambushed police and military vehicles burning them to ashes by
planting improvised explosive devices on the sandy road.
Ali Roba’s security vehicles were attacked early this year by an
improvised explosive device planted by the militants killing
five bodyguards before crossing the border.
The Al-Shabaab have
changed tactics and resorted to abductions and using improvised
explosive devices to carry out attacks in parts of Coast region
and northeastern Kenya, according to police.
Kenya continues to
suffer several attacks as terrorists change tuck to beat
heightened security and carry on with their heinous acts
In the recent past,
there have been numerous attacks involving landmines, grenades,
or other explosive devices in northeast Kenya.
Most of these
attacks occurred in northeastern Kenya, mainly in Lamu in the
coastal region, Dadaab, Wajir, Garissa, and Mandera counties in
Kenyan police officer missing
after suspected Al-Shabaab attack
MANDERA (Xinhua) --
A Kenyan police officer is missing after
suspected Al-Shabaab militants attacked and burnt two police
vehicles escorting a commuter bus in Mandera country on Monday
A senior police
officer confirmed on Tuesday that the vehicles with 12 police
officers on board had been ambushed by militants in Dabacity
area, Mandera County, which borders Somalia.
“The rescue team
comprising of Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) and police officers
have successfully evacuated 11 officers from the scene and
unable to trace one who is said to have made a communication to
the station from his hideout,” said the officer who declined to
He said the vehicles
with 12 officers were escorting a commuter bus to Mandera when
they were hit by rocket propelled grenades. A firearm is also
missing amid speculations the terrorists escaped with it.
Another officer was
injured during the ambush as the militants moved to burn the
vehicles before escaping.
Efforts to locate
the missing officer is ongoing.
The police officer
said no passenger in the bus was affected as the ambush happened
when the vehicle had passed the scene.
The officer said the
attack came after a lull of three months during which no
incident was reported.
militants, which have been mounting cross-border attacks in
Mandera, are said to be grouping in the area. It has become
difficult to attack them due to heavy rains.
Al-Shabaab has vowed
to attack Kenya after the east African nation sent troops into
southern Somalia in 2011 to help flush out the insurgents blamed
for kidnappings of tourists.
Kenya now has more
than 4,000 troops in the 22,000-strong African Union force in
Somalia helping the United Nations-backed government battle Al-Shabaab,
which is allied to the Al-Qaida terror network.
Ethiopia awards medical team
for helping terror victims in Somalia
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
Ethiopia on Monday awarded its
four-surgeon medical team for their service in helping terror
victims in Somalia.
The Ethiopian team
spent 10 days in neighboring Somalia to help victims of the
worst terror attack in Mogadishu’s history.
At least 358 people
were killed and many others wounded in the Oct. 14 attack.
Workneh Gebeyehu said the team’s humanitarian service “signifies
a pan-African solidarity and people-to-people relationship in
In addition to
dispatching the medical team, Ethiopia has also provided 8 tons
of medical supplies to Somalia.