More than 4,600 soldiers in Kenya are now under the command of General Andrew Gutti of Uganda, head of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, AMISOM.
According to the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), the ceremony for the transfer of command took place in Nairobi at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defence. Ambassador Boubacar Diarra, High Representative of the African Union Commission, thanked the “Kenyan brothers” and claimed that Al Shabaab insurgents are “a threat not only for Somalia but for the whole region.”
With the integration of Kenyan troops, AMISOM will have about 17,000 troops. The troops from Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti in the future could be joined by a battalion sent from Sierra Leone.
Since 2007, AMISOM has backed the transitional government in Mogadishu against the al-Shabaab and smaller armed groups that control much of southern and central Somalia. Kenya launched its own offensive in October, pointing to the strategic port of Kismayo.