Lt Gen Diomede Ndegeya, the new African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Force Commander spent the better part of Tuesday visiting troops in Beletweyne manned by Djiboutian Armed Forces (DJAF) and Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) to familiarize himself with sector 4.
Ndegeya according to AMISOM statement released on Wednesday morning, he landed at Ugas Khalif airport in Beletweyne city which is protected by AMISOM forces.
With his delegation, Lt Gen Ndegeya was received by Sector 4 Commander Col. Abdirahman Riyale Hared and other AMISOM officials. The General immediately inspected a guard of honour mounted by sector 4 forces and later held a closed-door meeting with the sector commander and his top officers.
Ndegeya later met with Hiiran region governor Ali Jeyte Osman who briefed him about the situation in the region and how close the Somalia government forces and AMISOM forces work together in maintaining peace and security in the region.
He commended AMISOM troops in sector 4 for pushing out Al-Shabaab terrorists from swathes of land under their control and opening main supply routes that connect the major towns in the region. The combatants were applauded for saving lives during recent floods that engulfed Beletweyne after river Shabelle burst its banks.
“You have managed to keep the enemy at bay and this has helped the people of HirShabelle State and in particular those living in Hiraan region and more precisely Beletweyne get a reprieve and an opportunity to peacefully go about by their business and farm their land to continue feeding the rest of Somalia,” Lt. Gen. Ndegeya said.
Ndegeya said soldiers have displayed courage, humility and kindness in going out of their way to transport women and children and the elderly who could not swim from the affected areas into high grounds to save their lives.
“You also provided non-food items like tents, dry rations and medical support to the people. I also know you have done an excellent job in the sector to secure the main supply routes from Beletweyne to Buulo Burde, this and many other supply routes have enabled these areas to develop and support to reach the public,” Ndegeya said.
Col Abdrahman Riyale Hared, the AMISOM Sector 4 Commander, extoled the Force Commander for his visit and said the troops morale is high to deliver on their mandate.
“Today, we had a visit from our Force Commander, Lieutenant General Diomede who came for an assessment visit and introduction of sector 4 headquarters. He wanted to understand what sector 4 troops are doing, we have briefed him about the general situation politically and operational wise,” said Col. Riyale.
Lt Gen Ndegeya was on his maiden visit to Beletweyne and Sector 4 since taking over the helm at AMISOM earlier this month. AMISOM has 5 sectors in Somalia served by Ugandan, Kenyan, Ethiopian, Burundian and Djiboutian forces.