African standby force 1
Photo: Stuart Price/UN AMISOM troops on Mogadishu's frontline.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said Monday it has honored 34 staff officers serving at the force’s headquarters in Mogadishu for their contribution in helping the mission achieve its mandate of restoring peace and stability in Somalia.

Tigabu Yilma, AMISOM force commander who awarded medals and certificates to the officers commended them for their dedication and selfless service towards the restoration of peace, security and stability in the country.

“You are the mainstay of this mission. Your efforts have contributed to success on the ground,” Yilma said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

Among those honored were officers from Benin, Burundi, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom Mission Support Team.

Yilma noted that the officers through their dedication had made profound impact towards the mission achieving its mandate, particularly in the fight against al-Shabab terrorists, and by so doing transforming the lives of the Somali people.

“As per AMISOM’s Concept of Operations, we have to clear main supply routes and secure populations centers. The two are intertwined and I am glad that with your support we have been doing that,” he said.

The staff officers, Yilma noted, had contributed to the capture of areas under the control of al-Shabab militants, with four towns in Lower Shabelle region liberated this year alone.

In March, AMISOM forces in joint operations with the Somali National Army captured the strategic bride town of Sabiid Anole and subsequently Bariire, El Salin and Awdheegle.

Yilma expressed optimism that more areas would soon be liberated from the terrorists.

The Somali and AU forces have been on major offensives against al-Shabab extremists in central and southern Somali regions, but the militants still hold swaths of territory in those regions, conducting ambushes and planting roadside bombs. Enditem

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