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Kenya may reduce troops in Somalia

Daily Nation
Friday, April 05, 2013

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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 “Operation 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.

“The 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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