African Union forces close military outpost in Mogadishu

UN, Somali, and AU officials at a handover ceremony (UNSOM Photo)

MOGADISHU – The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Tuesday pulled fources out of its military base at a former university building in Mogadishu.

The peacekeeping troops were withdrawn from Gahayr University campus during a ceremony in the facility and handed it over to the Somalia’s Ministry of Education.

The AU Mission in Somalia says its troops there relocated to AMISOM Sector 5 headquarters in Jowhar town, about 90 km north of Mogadishu.

Tuesday’s handover ceremony was attended by UN Envoy for Somalia, Michael Keating, and by the head of AMISOM, the chairman of the Somali national university, the education minister and other high-ranking officials.

Federal Minister for Higher Education Abdirahman Dahir Osman warmly welcomed the move and described it as a symbol of the rebirth of Somalia. Likewise, the UN ambassador to Somalia, Michael Keating hailed the withdrawal of AMISOM troops from the university campus as a sign of progress and a brighter future for young people.

The campus lies in Wadajir district and has been used as a military base by Burundian soldiers for the past ten years.