Mogadishu(SONNA)– The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has awarded medals to 19 Staff Officers for their contribution to the restoration of peace and security in Somalia.

The AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn, on Monday presided over the award of medals, which took place at AMISOM Force Headquarters in Mogadishu.

Medal recipients included officers from Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Italy, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In his remarks, Lt. Gen. Yilma commended the officers for the dedication and selfless service to AMISOM. “These medals are a footprint of your sacrifice. AMISOM’s success is because of your success,” he said.

He noted that without the officers’ support, recent operations against terrorists would not have succeeded.

This year, Somali security forces backed by AMISOM liberated the strategic towns of Sabiid Anole, Bariire, El-Salini, and Awdheegle, all in Lower Shabelle region of Somalia.

Lt. Gen. Yilma also hailed the officers for their support to efforts aimed at degrading terrorist groups, securing main supply routes and population centres in Somalia.

AMISOM Force Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Charles Imbiakha, who was a  medal recipient, said each officers’ role was integral to the success.

“Staff officers support the actualisation of AMISOM operations. It is a significant day for staff officers who have contributed to Somalia’s peace process. We hope to see Somali Security Forces take over their country’s security responsibilities ahead of AMISOM’s exit,” Lt. Col. Imbiakha said.

Under the Somalia Transition Plan, AMISOM is implementing a conditions-based reduction of troops and gradually transferring security responsibilities to Somali security forces ahead of the envisage exit from Somalia in 2021.



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