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Kenya may reduce troops in Somalia

Daily Nation
Friday, April 05, 2013

The Kenya Defence Forces could pull out more than 1,000 soldiers from the peacekeeping mission in Somalia after a battalion from Sierra Leone boosted the number of Amisom troops.

According to a statement from the African Union Mission in Somalia, a battalion from the Sierra Leone Armed Forces arrived in the Horn of Africa country on Tuesday and would be posted in the southern region.

Kenya has maintained a heavy military presence in Somalia since October 2011 when it launched β€œOperation Linda Nchi”.

Currently, its role is that of pacifying areas it took from Al-Shabaab including Kismayu, the last stronghold of the Al-Shabaab militants.

According to UN Security Council Resolution 2036 (2012), a country is allowed to withdraw a number of soldiers, once a fresh battalion from another country arrives.

Amisom spokesman Eloi Yao said the Sierra Leoneans would operate alongside the Kenyan contingent.

β€œThe Special Representative welcomes the deployment of the contingent. Their integration into Amisom signifies the commitment across Africa to stabilise Somalia,” he said in a statement.

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