The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) yesterday handed over to the Federal Government of Somalia a military training academy it has occupied for more than a decade.
The Jaalle Siyaad Military Academy, which had been an operation base for the Burundi contingent, since September 2008, was handed over to Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mahdi Mohamed Guled, by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, at a colourful ceremony held in the Somali capital.
“The handover is another major milestone in the implementation of the Somalia Transition Plan, and it follows last August’s handover of the Mogadishu National Stadium to the Federal Government of Somalia,” Ambassador Francisco Madeira stated.
The Academy holds a special place in the country’s history, having served as a key Forward Operation Base (FBO) for AU troops during the fierce battle against Al-Shabaab militants that led to the liberation of Mogadishu in 2011.
The hand over, the SRCC noted, signifies the commitment of AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) in fulfilling key requirements under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2431, which authorized withdrawal of AMISOM troops and gradual transfer of security responsibility to the Somali National Security Forces.
Ambassador Madeira recollected how the once prestigious military academy fell in the hands of Al-Shabaab, at the height of the civil war.
“It was from this same base that AMISOM troops with the support of Somali forces gallantly liberated another national institution, Gashandiigah, which in turn led to the securing of one of Mogadishu’s iconic market, Bakara market, consequently contributing to Al-Shabaab’s defeat and withdrawal from Mogadishu,” Ambassador Madeira said.