AU to restructure military bases of its troops in Somalia to enhance safety

Hiiraan Xog, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has announced plans reconstitute its Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) across the country.

In a statement, the mission said the restructure of the bases is aimed to enhance safety and security of its troops.

Maj. Gen. Fidza Dludlu, AMISOM Head of Mission Support noted that the exercise will also involve reviewing the design and layout to help establish sustainable FOBs which have a positive impact on troop protection, logistical costs, and combat force effectiveness.

“The threat has continuously changed hence we want better protection for our troops in the frontline. We also need to come up with a standardized FOB layout,” he said.

According to the official, the mission held a conference for AMISOM sector engineers which took place in Mogadishu.

The aim of the conference, organized by AMISOM with the support of the UK Mission Support Team (UKMST) was to come up with a standardized design and layout for the current and future FOBs.

Maj. Gen. Dludlu explained that the reconstitution of FOBs was part of the implementation of the Somali Transition Plan, which will see the AU Mission further reduce its troops by 1000 this year.

According to AMISOM, the exercise might require the handing over of some of the military bases to the Somali national security forces as part of the transfer of security responsibility to federal government.

“Our focus is to support the Somali Transition Plan. This may need us to handover some FOBs or collapse or create new ones,” Gen. Dludlu added.

Gen. Dludlu appealed to the officers to put aside their different military doctrines and come up with a standard structure, which will guarantee troop safety and increase efficiency in FOBs.

The military component in AMISOM is comprised of troops drawn from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia who are deployed in six sectors covering south and central Somalia.

AMISOM Force Engineer, Col. Olugbemi Adeboye Obasanjo, noted that the safety and security of AMISOM troops are paramount to the fulfillment of the AU Mission’s mandate.

“We have to, first of all, ensure that our troops are secure and safe from where they can launch offensive operations, do their patrols and carry out any other operations in fulfillment of AMISOM mandate,” Col. Obasanjo stated.

The two-day conference also discussed other security issues among them threat assessment and field defense stores among others.

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