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Salone envoy wants peacekeepers rotated in Somalia

OCTOBER 10, 2014 By Abdul Karim Koroma in Addis Ababa

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, His Excellency Osman Keh Kamara, on Wednesday 8th October met with the African Union Commission for Peace and Security and expressed the urgent need for the rotation of Sierra Leonean peacekeepers serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The envoy stated that President Ernest Bai Koroma is following the issue with keen interest, pointing out that the battalion that is supposed to replace those in Somalia has been screened and cleared of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the African Union medical team.

He stressed that the troops are currently isolated at their pre-deployment camp for the past four months.

According to Ambassador Kamara, Sierra Leone’s peace mission in Somalia was designed principally in support of African solidarity and above all to bring about normalcy to Somalia after decades of internal armed conflict and political instability.

He called on the African Union and the Government of Somalia to expedite modalities for the rotation of the troops.

Earlier, Mr. Sivuyile Bam, Head of Peace Support Operations Division of the African Union Commission, accepted Ambassador Kamara’s observations and informed that the United Nations Support Office for Somalia is ready to deploy the battalion from Sierra Leone.

He disclosed among other things that the Commission has written to the World Health Organization requesting them to screen the contingent in Sierra Leone.

The delegation from the African Union Commission for Peace and Security promised to work round the clock to ensure that the issue is amicably resolved.