Somalia’s HirShabelle state has signed a land lease agreement with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

This was signed by the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson for Somalia (SRCC), Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, days after the mission handed over the Somali National University – which has served as its base since 2007 – to the government.

He thanked the government for helping relocate the troops from the university to the base in the HirShabelle state.

“We welcome your government’s continued commitment towards ensuring that AMISOM achieves its objectives in contributing to the stabilization of Somalia. That is a sign of progress; that is a sign that we are achieving our objective of stabilizing the country,” Madeira said.

HirShabelle Minister of Interior Mohamed Ali Adle, who signed on behalf of the state, expressed gratitude to AMISOM for securing the country.

“Am really happy with the signing of this agreement and would like to thank our AMISOM brothers for their sacrifices, those who have spilled their blood and stood day and night by us, to secure this country from the enemy,” he said.

AMISOM troops previously used the university as an operating base before later taking it over as a Battalion Headquarters in its fight against insurgent group, Al Shabaab.

AMISOM also occupied the 70,000-capacity stadium in Mogadishu since 2011 preventing any sporting activity.