Sunday, December 06, 2015
Lt. Gen. Jonathan Rono, the Force Commander of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) talks to troops serving under AMISOM during a working visit to Beletweyne base in Hiran region, Somalia. AMISOM PHOTO – QEYS AHMED
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Force Commander Lt. Gen Jonathan Rono has visited troops in Belet Weyne, the headquarters of AMISOM Sector 4, to get a first-hand account of the situation on the ground.
He was briefed by the military leadership on key achievements in the sector, challenges that exist and future plans, regarding security.
AMISOM troops in Sector 4 are charged with ensuring the security of the Hiiran and Galgadud regions. AMISOM troops from Djibouti and Ethiopia are deployed in the sector.
The troops have recently liberated the towns of Masaas, Ceel buur, Maqakoor, Guricel, Halgen, Ceel Ali and several villages.
As a result, new administrative posts have now been established in Ceel buur, Muqakoor and Halgen.
In a brief to the Force Commander, the Sector Commander Col. Abdourahman Abdi Dhembil, said residents had been terrorized by ‘al Shabaab’ for several years.
He added that the militants assassinated community leaders, illegally taxed populations and denied them basic social services.
He explained that due to isolation, the area lacked basic infrastructure such as roads, schools, hospitals and access to safe water.
The troops in Belet Weyne work with; and support the Somali National Army (SNA) in securing the region.
They have helped reconstruct military camps including the Lamagalay camp, which was built through donations from AMISOM soldiers, who gave up part of their pay to assist their counterparts in the Somali National Army.
The troops also train and mentor SNA soldiers, have been involved in the rehabilitation of the Belet Weyne airstrip, construction of the Boulay and Bulo Burde airstrips, support to the internally displaced persons (IDPs), provision of medical assistance to the local population and mediation of clan conflicts, among others.
They also share their rations with needy families in the region.
The Force Commander commended the troops for their dedication and hard work.
“Mine is to thank the AMISOM officers and soldiers from Djibouti Defence Force and Ethiopia National Defence Force for the sacrifices and their contributions to the well being of the people of Somalia.
“I know it has not come easy; we have paid heavily for this.
“We salute those we came with but are not with us today, in all the Sectors.
“The SNA has also lost good soldiers, we salute them. It is not in vain that they suffered those losses, one day this country will be peaceful.
“During my tenure of service with AMISOM, I have worked well with Djiboutian and Ethiopian soldiers in this Sector and I am very proud of what you have done,” said the Force Commander.
Lt. Gen. Rono reaffirmed AMISOM’s commitment to rid the Hiiran, Galgadud regions and the entire country, of all terrorists.