UK to the rescue, but Amisom troops still starved of airpower

The mission, which is implementing the transition plan to hand over the full security mandate to local security agencies, however, remains starved of equipment to deploy in airborne combat.

The United Kingdom has come to the rescue of African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), donating 49 pieces of heavy equipment worth $7.4 million to help in clearing the main supply routes in the war-torn country.

Amisom Force Commander Lt Gen Jim Owoyesigire received the equipment which includes tractor trucks, bulldozers, backhoe and front end loaders, forklifts and module dump tippers, to be used by the contingents from Uganda, Kenya and Burundi.

The machinery will also be deployed in the mission enabling unit, which is based in Mogadishu.

While handing over the equipment, the United Kingdom ambassador to Somalia, David Concar, said his government is committed to supporting Amisom in its efforts to stabilise Somalia.

“What we are doing today, transferring 5.6 millions pounds worth of equipment is, we hope, going to make a difference to the ability of Amisom to clear roads and supply routes and to press ahead with stabilising Somalia,” said Mr Concar.

The mission, which is implementing the transition plan to hand over the full security mandate to local security agencies, however, remains starved of equipment to deploy in airborne combat.