The African Union Mission in Somalia has welcomed members of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) who have joined AMISOM.
An advance team from the Sierra Leonean contingent arrived today in Somalia. The battalion-strong contingent will be deploying shortly into southern Somalia where they will operate alongside the Kenyan contingent. The Sierra Leonean deployment will permit the Kenyans to withdraw one battalion from the sector as per UN Security Council Resolution 2036 (2012).
The Special Representative welcomed the deployment of the contingent and said that
their integration into AMISOM signifies the commitment across Africa to stabilizing Somalia, adding that their involvement will be invaluable in consolidating security in south central Somalia.
The Sierra Leoneans will constitute AMISOM’s fifth contingent, after Burundian, Djiboutian, Kenyan and Ugandan contingents.
“The contributions made by these African countries for our Somali brothers and sisters are an indication of the importance of this mission to continental and regional security,” the Special Representative said.
The AU Peace and Security Council authorized the integration of a Contingent of RSLAF into AMISOM early last year. Since then AMISOM troops in support of the Federal Government of Somalia have pushed Al Qaeda affiliated al Shabaab terrorists from much of south-central Somalia.