Some of the Forward Operating Bases(FOBs) for the African Union Mission in Somalia troops are set to be closed as part of the wider plan to reduce troops in the horn of Africa country, the Nile Post has learnt.
Early this week, all AMISOM forces commanders met in Mogadishu in a bid to develop a comprehensive plan that will guide the implementation of the new Concept of Operations (CONOPS), which was approved by the Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) – a forum of Chiefs of Defence Staff, troop contributing countries, African Union, UN, and the Somali government in November last year.
“Under the new CONOPS, several Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) are likely to be reconfigured and others folded up, as troop numbers reduce,” said a statement by AMISOM.
The move will be implemented after a further reduction of 1000 troops from Somalia.
“We need to make do with the little resources we have and implement the new CONOPS to help AMISOM fulfill its mandate of securing Somalia,” Simon Mulongo, the Deputy Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia said.
He however urged the troop commanders to come up with realistic operation plans that will ensure the concept of operations is achieved.
“In order to implement the Concept of Operations effectively, we will focus on conducting targeted offensive operations against Al-Shabaab to degrade its capability, deny them freedom of action and movement and secure our friendly forces in fulfillment of our mandate,” said the AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn.
The new CONOPS will guide AMISOM military activities and operations for the 2018-2021 period.
Uganda was the first African country to deploy troops under the African Union Mission in Somalia in 2007 and is currently the largest troop contributor with over 80 of the troops coming from Uganda.
The Ugandan troops also control the largest area in Somalia after being deployed in Sector One in Benadir,(has 16 districts) Banadir, and Lower Shabelle regions having pushed Al Shabaab militants for over 200km away from Mogadishu city.
Kenyan troops are deployed in Sector Two which comprises Lower and Middle Jubba regions whereas Sector Three commanded by Ethiopia has Bay and Bakool as well as Gedo (Sub Sector 3).
Djiboutian forces are man Sector 4, which covers Hiiraan and Galgaduud areas while Burundian forces are in charge of Sector 5, which covers the Middle Shabelle region.