The Ugandan contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, have relocated from Marianguwaay Forward Operating (FOB) base in Lower Shabelle region in the Southwest State of Somalia as part of troop realignment to provide more effective security to the Main Supply Routes, MSRs, and the general area.
AMISOM set up the Marianguwaay FOB in October 2014 to ease the movement of troops between the port cities of Marka and Barawe. Following the relocation, the FOB is now closed and the land ownership has reverted to the government.
The AMISOM Uganda Contingent Commander, Brig Gen. Don Nabasa, on Sunday officially flagged off the FOB relocation. The event to mark this was attended by the Governor of Lower Shabelle, Abdikadir Murshid Sidi and the Deputy District Commissioner of Barawe, Ibrahim Abdinoor.
Also present were the AMISOM Deputy Chief Operations Officer Lt. Col. Alemayehu Abera Kitila, the AMISOM Joint Support Operations Centre (JSOC) Officer, Maximillian Okech, and the Force Spokesperson Lt. Col. Daniel Mugoro.
In his remarks, Brig Gen. Nabasa said the relocation is part of a harmonized joint operations plan laid out in April by AMISOM and the Somali National Army, SNA, to enable Somali Security Forces to assume security responsibilities ahead of AMISOM’s exit.
“The recently concluded sector commanders conference guided by AMISOM Concept of Operations harmonized several tasks for execution by Sector I, which included the relocation of troops from Marianguwaay Forward operating Base to another area to beef up security. This will enhance operational efficiency as we pursue the AMISOM mandate,” said Brig Gen. Nabasa.
“Marianguwaay has been one of the most peaceful areas. I extend my gratitude on behalf of AMISOM and Sector I to the local leaders and the community for cooperating with our troops,” he added.
The Governor of Lower Shabelle, Abdikadir Murshid Sidi, noted that AMISOM joint operations with SNA had weakened the insurgents in the region, making it necessary for Somali Security Forces to take over security responsibilities.
“You have helped us reach great milestones. The transfer of security responsibilities from AMISOM to Somali Security Forces is as a result of efforts and sacrifices made by our African brothers in the fight against terrorist group Al-Shabaab,” said Sidi.
As part of the relocation process, Governor Sidi, the local leaders, and other AMISOM officers in attendance inspected the area and signed documents to hand over the community land on which the FOB operated. They also signed an environmental clearance certificate to certify that the troops did not degrade the environment.
Ahead of the relocation, AMISOM troops conducted a cleanup that involved removing structures and levelling the ground to restore the environment in line with AMISOM’s environmental standard operating procedures.
“We have cleaned everywhere to leave the environment the way we found it when establishing this FOB. Now we are set to leave for the next destination,” said the commander of the Uganda Battle Group 31, Colonel Francis Aragamoi.
Since 2014, AMISOM troops have jointly operated in the general area of Marianguwaay, significantly improving the security situation of the area before the need to take up security responsibilities elsewhere in line with the ongoing AMISOM and SNA Reconfiguration Plan and the revised Concept of Operations (CONOPS) 2018-2021.
AMISOM and the Somali Security Forces readjust and reorganize troop deployments to revitalize strategies that have enabled the recovery, consolidation, expansion and control of areas of South-central Somalia by the Federal Government of Somalia.