AMISOM’s top commanders discussing final plans to take Kismayo
Addis Ababa, July 25 (WIC) - Senior commanders from the Kenya, Uganda and Burundi contingents of AMISOM were meeting in Nairobi over the weekend in Nairobi to approve their final plans to capture Kismayo, the last major Al-Shabaab stronghold.
The meeting at Kenya’s Department of Defence headquarters was attended by Major-General Karanja, Kenya’sAir Force commander, Major-General Otieno, head of Kenya’s Military Intelligence, and Major-General Kameru, as well as Burundi’s Brigadier-General Nduwumunsi and officers from the Ugandan Air Force.
Field commanders from the Kenyan forces in Somalia and officers commanding the Ugandan contingent in Mogadishu made presentations.
On Monday, regional army chiefs met in Addis Ababa. Those attending included the chairman of the AU Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Boubacar Diarra; AMISOM Force Commander, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti; Deputy AMISOM commanders, Major-General Karanja and Brigadier-General Nduwumunsi; the Chief of Kenya Defence Forces, General Julius Karangi; the Chief of the Defence Forces of Uganda, General Aronda Nyakairima; the heads of the Burundian and Djibouti militaries; Ambassador Mahiga, the head of the UN Political Office for Somalia, and senior military commanders from the region.
A draft plan was subsequently presented to all the regional army chiefs. According to reports, the plan calls for the use of air and naval strikes to back up ground forces. AMISOM’s spokesman, Eloi Yao, confirmed on Tuesday that the meeting has taken place but refused to give further details.
AMISOM has previously divided up specific responsibilities among its various contingents: Kenya deals with military intelligence and logistics; Uganda covers contingent operations and logistics; Burundi oversees communications and planning; Djibouti covers civil-military relations; and Sierra Leone will be in charge of training.
The meetings have coincided with a recent United Nations report warning that an Al-Shabaab support network based in Nairobi “has continued to operate from Kenya with relative freedom”.
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