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Outgoing AMISOM Force Commander and his deputy feted for distinguished service

Outgoing AMISOM Force Commander and his deputy feted for distinguished service

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Force Commander, Lt. Gen Diomede Ndegeya and the Deputy Force Commander in charge of Support and Logistics, Maj Gen. Gerbi Kebede Regassa, have been awarded African Union (AU) service medals and certificates in recognition of their contribution to efforts to restore peace in Somalia. Lt Gen. Ndegeya from Burundi, and Maj Gen. Kebede from Ethiopia, have completed their year-long tour of duty as commanders of the AMISOM military component. The AMISOM Force Commander positions are held on a rotational basis by the AMISOM Troop Contributing Countries that include Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. A ceremony to recognise their contribution took place on Saturday at the AMISOM Force Headquarters, and was attended by AMISOM Military Staff Officers. Speaking at the medal ceremony, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, hailed the two commanders for their visionary and tactical leadership. He noted that the two commanders had ensured the effectiveness of AMISOM troops to pursue and continue degrading Al-Shabaab amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Ambassador Madeira said, “As we say goodbye to Lt. Gen Ndegeya and Maj. Gen Kebede, on behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union and the Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department, I thank you for your contribution.” He noted, “Since AMISOM’s inception in 2007, the African Union awards medals to our forces in Somalia, in recognition of the selflessness and commitment of uniformed personnel to the ideals and objectives of peace.” Ambassador Madeira, who is the Head of AMISOM, also saluted AMISOM troops for the commitment to service in a challenging and unpredictable operational environment and contribute to continental peace and stability. Lt. Gen. Ndegeya expressed gratitude for the recognition and the honour accorded to him to serve as Force Commander, leading troops from various African countries to restore peace in Somalia. “I am confident that our successors will be proud of our achievements, will build on them and ultimately we will emerge victoriously. I also laud our soldiers in the various sectors and their commanders for the sustained efforts aimed at disrupting and degrading Al-Shabaab within the areas of responsibility,” said Ndegeya. He noted that the collective efforts by AMISOM troops in support of the Somali National Army had created favourable conditions for peace and stability in key population centres in Somalia. Lt. Gen. Ndegeya appealed to the AMISOM troops and commanders to continue pursuing the mission’s objectives in strict adherence to the rules of engagement and respect for human rights.

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