Hiiraan Xog, The commander of African Union Mission in Somalia, Lt. Gen. Jim Owoyesigire, has ordered all troops in the conflict-torn country to conduct permanent joint operations with the Somali National Army against Al-Shabaab.
“The Force Commander tasked the forces with intensifying the training and mentorship of their SNA counterparts through joint planning, co-ordination and execution of operations in line with the AMISOM transition plan,” a statement issued by AMISOM officials noted.
Owoyesigire, who is the former commander of UPDF air force, was yesterday speaking to a section of AMISOM troops at Johwar.
The AMISOM chief has also embarked on the security assessment of all major operation camps of troops to discuss broad strategic plans geared towards rebuilding the state and government in Somalia.
Securing the Mogadishu-Johwar supply route is the other urgent assignment that Owoyesigire gave the troops.
The AMISOM commander said joint security operation with the Somali National Army will improve peace, security and also equip Somali forces with the necessary skills for sustainable stability of the country.
“Owoyesigire further urged the troops to strengthen relations with the local community through co-operation with the regional administration and undertaking of quick impact projects to address pertaining social infrastructural challenges,” AMISOM officials said yesterday.
Owoyesigire also held talks with Hirshabeelle state president, Mohamed Abdi Ware at Jowhar town.
“Discussions focused on the security situation in the region,” AMISOM officials noted in a statement.
Owoyesigire also assessed troops in Baidoa, Beletweyne and Baledogle operational bases.
The mandate of AMISOM was in July extended by the United Nations Security Council resolution 2434 underscoring a gradual and conditional withdraw of boots by 2020.
There are over 21, 000 African Union troops in Somalia, with Uganda contributing the largest portion.
Besides Uganda, there are troops from Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Burundi.