The Ugandan military on Wednesday said it will start the phased withdrawal of its peacekeepers deployed in Somalia late next month in line with African Union and United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Military spokesperson Brig. Richard Karemire told Xinhua that plans have been put in place for the condition-based drawdown of its over 6,000 troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by Dec. 31.
“The mission in Somalia is mandated by the United Nations. The Security Council in May extended the mandate but also a condition-based drawdown,” said Karemire.”As a troop contributing country we are going by it and have plans in place.”
Karemire said the troop’s withdrawal is also pegged on the ability of the Somali National Security Forces to ably take over the security of the Horn of Africa country.
“The Somali Security Forces are still growing with support from AMISOM and partners,” said Karemire.
AMISOM is comprised of troops drawn from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti who are deployed in six sectors covering south and central Somalia.
The Special Representative of the African Union Chairperson for Somalia Francisco Madeira announced on Tuesday that some 1,000 soldiers from the 22,000 strong regional force will be withdrawn from Somalia by Dec. 31.
As part of the military drawdown, Madeira said, the pan-African body will deploy an extra 500 police officers to strengthen training and mentoring for Somali Police.