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Major General Fred Mugisha, who became the new commander of the African Union peacekeeping forces (AMISOM) on June 15th, confirmed today that more African Union troops arrived in Somalia, during a medal awarding ceremony for the departing 6th Uganda Battalion Group (UGABAG).
“In the next few months you will also see more troops arriving here in Mogadishu and they will come from many African countries like West Africa and South Africa,” General Mugisha told reporters during a press conference at Mogadishu’s Aden Ade International Airport today.
A Somali government official who asked not be named told Somalia Report that one military airplane carrying unspecified number of troops arrived late yesterday and another airplane landed late Friday.
"So far we have received additional 3,000 troops and more are still coming," AMISOM Spokesman Major Paddy Akunda told Somalia Report.
General Mugisha said that the escalation of AMISOM troops is aimed at improving the security of Somalia. “We are going to help peace loving Somalis to stabilize their country," he vowed.
‘‘During the coming holy month, I call on the al-Shabaab to respect that month and use it to join the government and do good things,’’ Mugisha told Somalia Report.
He also implored the media to help in the fight against al-Shabaab.
‘‘I call on the media to play a vital role in assisting the people of Somalia by calling on the brainwashed youths to change camps immediately,’’ General Mugisha told Somalia Report in an interview at the Halane base camp.
The general called on al-Shabaab insurgents to stop causing instability and said it is time to join hands as Somalis first, and as Africans second.
“History will charge us for the things we do which are good and are developing the nation. History will charge harshly those who have destroyed Somalia," General Mugisha said.
Major General Fred Mugisha replaced Major General Nathan Mugisha and became the fourth Commander of the AMISOM force.