Mogadishu:– The Force Commander of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMSIOM), Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya, on Wednesday concluded his familiarization visit of all six AMISOM sectors, with a visit to sector two and sector six, in Dhobley and the coastal city of Kismayo, respectively, both located in Jubaland State of Somalia.
Sector two, which includes Dhobley town, Ras Kamboni, Bilis Qooqani, Afmadhow, Hoosingo and Tabta among other smaller communities and is wholly manned by the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) while sector six, which is in Kismayo town is jointly manned by both the KDF and Ethiopia National Defense Forces (ENDF).
On arrival in Dhobley, the Force Commander was received by Sector two Commander Brig. Gen. Paul Njema and his senior commanders and later inspected a guard of honour mounted by KDF AMISOM troops.
The Force Commander lauded Kenya for its contribution to peace in Somalia saying the two countries enjoy a long history, a common border and people. He also hailed Kenya for hosting Somali refugees for many years.
“Kenya is committed to peace, hence sending its troops to help Somalia to help in stabilization and development,” said Lt. Gen. Ndegeya
The Force Commander lauded sector two for being the first sector within AMISOM to deploy a rapid response unit which can swiftly respond to any incident within its Area of Responsibility (AoR).
Additionally, Lt. Gen. Ndegeya praised sector two for leading in Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities and having one of the most active Female Engagement Teams (FET) which has been instrumental in local community work.
“I must also laud you for leading other sectors by putting up a rapid response mobile force that is able to provide quick reaction to any threats in your sector,” Lt. Gen. Ndegyea stated.
He added, “It would be unfair not to mention your much appreciated and needed CIMIC activities that continue to provide healthcare, farming and other opportunities to the local population. Your excellent CIMIC is spearheaded by the passion and the kindness of your female engagement team.”
While in Dhobley the Force Commander had a closed-door meeting with sector two commander, Brig. Gen. Njema and his senior commanders, on the security situation in the area and the welfare of AMISOM troops.
Lt. Gen. Ndegeya was later taken on a guided tour of the base where some CIMIC activities take place. They included a vegetable farm and a metal fabrication workshop where locals learn life skills including carpentry.
Thereafter, the Force Commander presided over a medals parade where he decorated KDF military officers, including the sector commander, Brig. Njema with AU service medals.
Lt. Gen. Ndegeya capped his tour of Dhobley with a tree planting exercise, in line with the AMISOM Environmental Protection and Management Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), launched recently.
The SOPs details mandatory environmental protection guidelines and practices that all mission personnel are to follow as they go about their duties on the peacekeeping mission.
The Force Commander then flew to sector six in Kismayo. In Kismayo, he was received by Sector two commander Brig. Gen. Paul Njema who represented sector six Commander Brig. Gen. Juma Shee Mwinyikai who was out of mission.
Gen. Ndegeya praised the Kenyan forces for scoring some of the biggest victories for AMISOM, with the capture of the southern port city of Kismayo in late 2012, which was a hub for Al-Shabaab terrorists.
“On October 1, 2012, the Kenyan Defense Forces gave AMISOM one of the biggest victories when together with the Somalia forces they captured the port city. Till date, this remains one of the major defeats against the terrorists because the Kismayo port was their main source of funds and main gateway to importing weapons,” Lt. Gen. Ndegeya said.
Sector six and sector two are the southernmost AMISOM sectors in Jubaland State of Somalia and borders Kenya. AMISOM Forces there together with Jubaland Security Forces (JSF) continue to push and fight terrorists to liberate more towns and help free the local population from brutality.