Thursday, July 16, 2020

African Union ‘to leave Somalia by December 2020’

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The African Union says it plans to withdraw its 22,000-strong force from Somalia by the end of 2020, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Under its exit strategy, security responsibilities will be transferred to Somalia’s military gradually between 2018 and December 2020, an AU Security Council statement is quoted as saying.

The first contingent of AU troops arrived in Somalia in March 2007 – and has since expanded as Somalia’s neighbours have tried to help the country battle the Islamist militant group, al-Shabab.

The force, known as Amisom, has suffered some serious attacks this year – and Uganda, the biggest contributor, has already announced it will withdraw its soldiers by December 2017.

Attacks on Amisom troops:

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2016

  • 9 June: Al-Shabab said they killed 60 Ethiopian soldiers in Halgan – Ethiopia denied any soldiers were killed
  • 21 April: Six Ethiopian troops killed in blast in Bay Region
  • 22 February: 15 Ethiopian troops dead in clashes in Lower Shabeelle
  • 15 January: Scores of Kenyan troops killed in an attack on base in El Adde

2015

  • 1 September: More than 20 killed in suicide attack on base in Janale, including at least 12 Ugandan troops
  • 26 June: At least 50 Burundian troops killed in attack on base near Mogadishu

2011

  • 20 October: 70 Amisom and Somali troops killed in clashes in Mogadishu.

BBC

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