, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 – Structures and the command levels for the African Union troops in the Somalia operation will soon be released following a meeting in Addis Ababa on Friday.
During the weekly press briefing on Saturday, Col Cyrus Oguna of the department of defence said the meeting attended by high level key political leadership and military leadership discussed and agreed on the positions that countries that form the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) will occupy in the four levels of command.
“There was a meeting held yesterday (Friday) to work out on the command structure in regard with which position will each country occupy. In the course of next week we will inform you about the details of what transpired,” Oguna asserted.
He said there will be the force commander, two deputy force commanders and the person in charge of operations which will be distributed to the key members of the AMISOM.
The decision for Kenya to join AMISOM was made at a London conference on February 22 of last month.
The positions will be distributed to the Kenyan, Ugandan, Burundian and Djiboutian troops who are the members of AMISOM fighting Al Shabaab in Somalia.
He said following the Addis Ababa meeting, decisions in regards to the operation in Somalia will entirely be government by AMISOM.
Oguna also said it will be up to AMISOM to decide if the Kenyan troops will withdraw their mission upon the expiry of their mandate on October 31 which will mark a year since it started the operation to silence the Al Shabaab.
“With regard as to whether that mandate will be renewed or terminated will depend on several factors which will not be decided by us but by AMISOM,” he said.
But he emphasised on the importance of ensuring ‘peace enforcement must transit into something, that something is peacekeeping’.
Oguna further said the controversial Kismayu which has been the main question for KDF, will now be the headache for AMISOM since it is one of the target areas in the quest to attack Al Shabaab. It is believed to be one of the Al Shabaab strongholds.
He also said he was happy that the soldiers had managed to wipe out more Al Shabaab militias and also managed to attack their resource distribution centres with food, and among others weapons used by the militia group.
Oguna further announced that the Kenyan troops in the operation in Somalia will be replaced by other Kenyan soldiers in the next four months.
The search and rescue for the two government officials abducted about 2 months ago was still on according to Oguna who explained that various leaders in different capacities were holding talks with leaders in Somalia to secure them.