Soldiers Wounded in Somalia Are Steadily Recovering in Kenya Hospitals-AU officials

The AU and ATMIS team visited soldiers wounded in Somalia

A delegation of the African Union (AU) that has visited soldiers wounded in the fight against Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia, has said that the combatants are steadily recovering in Nairobi hospital, in Kenya.

AU team was led by Zinurine Alghali the acting head of the AU peace support operations division who was accompanied by selected commanders of the African Union Transition in Somalia (ATMIS) visited soldiers nursing wounds sustained this year and others have been bedridden in various Kenyan hospitals for three years.

“We have two clear messages; one is that we thank these officers as individuals who are part of our peace support mission in Somalia. Secondly, we thank the troop and police-contributing countries that provide the human and material contributions to support the efforts of the African Union in Somalia,” said Alghali.

After powerful countries such as the US, China, Frank, Germany, and UKs withdrew support for sustaining foreign forces in Somalia, the African Mission in Somalia -AMISOM changed into ATMIS.

The countries that have permanent membership in the UN security council took a decision to withdraw support after realizing that the AMISOM forces had outlived their time and Somalis were no longer seeing their importance.

However, countries that makeup AMISOM forces such as Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, and Ethiopia decided to form ATMIS that supports the Somali National Army (SNA) and security forces in the fight against terrorism.

Uganda was one of the first countries to deploy forces in Somalia in 2007. But in these 15 years, Uganda and other countries have lost unspecified numbers of soldiers including leaving scores with permanent physical impairments.

Two months ago, over 30 Burundian soldiers were killed by Al-Shabaab militants using Improvised Explosive Devices -IEDs. Reports emerged in July that the UPDF contingent was also attacked and wounded by Army spokesperson, Felix Kulayigye who dismissed the reports as false.