Kenyan troops integrated into AMISOM
Addis Ababa (Alshahid)-Kenyan troops were officially integrated into the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM), with Kenya’s defence minister signing an agreement at AU headquarters on Saturday.
“We conclude the process of establishing a formal, legal framework for the integration of the Kenyan defence forces into AMISOM,” Minister of Defence Yusuf Haji said at the signing in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.
AMISOM said the indecision over the singing of the agreement had generated considerable concerns that the insurgents — now fleeing Sectors I and IV in the north where an assault on Alshabab resumed last week — would concentrate the militiamen in Juba Valley and Kismayu, making it difficult for Kenya soldiers to oust them from their strongholds.
The re-hatting of Kenyan troops comes three days after the Alshabab-controlled town of Afmadow fell to AU and allied troops. Afmadow has been a long-term target ever since Kenyan troops invaded southern Somalia in October.
In the rearranged operation to flush out the Islamic fundamentalists, Kenya has been assigned to operate in Sector II, which covers regions south of Mogadishu.
AU peace and security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra said that the AMISOM force still faces a number of logistical challenges and urged the UN to maintain support for the mission.
“Now that AMISOM is expanding, now that we are covering the entire territory, we do have more challenges, in particular, what relates to logistics, we need our friends in the UN to be able to supply all what is needed,” he said.