Uganda to withdraw more troops from Somalia

FILE PHOTO: A battle group from the Uganda Peoples Defence Force, receiving African Union medals and certificates on Saturday, 7 December 2019 in recognition of their contribution to security and peace process in Somalia. /AMISOM Photo

The Ugandan military plans to begin the second phase of withdrawing its peacekeeping troops from Somalia by the end of February.

Xinhua news agency reports an army official to say that the second-condition-based drawdown of it’s over 6,000 troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) will take place by Feb. 28.

“The numbers are yet to be decided upon and consultations continue. The drawdown (plan) in all fairness should be conditions based,” Brig. Richard Karemire said.

AMISOM military commanders resolved in January to cut down another additional 1,000 troops from the regional peacekeeping force in Somalia.

Somalia is expected to fully take over the security responsibility of its borders once the AMISOM troops complete their evacuation.

In 2017, Uganda withdrew 281 peacekeepers from the Horn of African country as part of a condition-based drawdown of its over 6,000 troops.

The East African nation provides the bulk of the AMISOM troops.

Under a transition plan agreed in 2017, AMISOM is required to conduct gradual handover to Somali security forces, secure main supply routes, reduce the threat posed by al-Shabab and conduct targeted offensive operations that support the transition plan.