African Union troops occupying Mogadishu stadium are expected to vacate soon, a Somali government minister said.
Since 2012, when al-Shabaab militants were pushed out from the capital, the Somali sporting officials have been pressing the government and military authorities for a removal of the troops from the stadium.
However, the latest announcement was made after a delegation from the government, National Olympic Committee and civil society groups visited the stadium on Wednesday to assess the damages and discuss a plan as to how the AU troops could leave.
‘’AMISOM will vacate Mogadishu stadium at the earliest date,’’ said minister of Internal Security Abdirisak Omar Mohamed, who did not reveal the exact time of the vacation.
Since the collapse of the central government in 1991, Mogadishu stadium hasn’t hosted a single sporting event. The various groups fighting in the country’s civil war have always occupied the stadium.
Deployed to Somalia in 2007, AMISOM has helped push back Al-Shabaab militants across much of the country’s south, retaking towns and territory the group had held for years.