Sierra Leonean colonel to head Amisom training in Somalia
The ministry also named Col Keita as the West African country`s national contingent commander in war-torn Somalia.
He will be based at Amisom Forces Headquarters in the Somali capital for a one-year renewable assignment which also includes the training of Somalia’s armed forces.
Some 850 troops are set for deployment in horn of Africa nation as part of a wider AU-UN peacekeeping mission.
The team has already completed training and is only awaiting the order for deployment, according to a defence ministry source.
Col Keita, with fighting experience in both Sierra Leone and neighbouring Liberia, previously served as Director of Defence Training, Education and Recruitment in the Sierra Leone army.
He was named from among other applicants from Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana and Kenya.
Col Keita left Freetown on Thursday for Mogadishu to assume his new assignment.
The Sierra Leone Defence ministry has also named its Battalion Commander for the Sierra Leone AMISOM troops as Lt Col. Abu Conteh.
Amisom forces are pushing to capture the Al-Shabaab nerve centre of Kismayu and have capture large swathes of territory from the Al-Qaeda-allied extremist group.
However they will face the challenge of maintaining security in the captured areas hence the need to train local security forces.