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Military begins withdrawing peacekeepers from Somalia

Uganda’s military says it has begun the withdrawal of 281 troops serving in the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

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This is part of a UN plan that will see African Union (AU) soldiers’ numbers reduced by 1,000 by the end of this year.

At the moment there are more than 20,000 soldiers serving in the AU mission (Amisom).

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Uganda, which first sent troops to the country in 2007, is the biggest contributor with more than 6,000 soldiers in the force.

Kenya, Burundi, Djibouti and Ethiopia are also expected to reduce their numbers by 31 December.

Pulling out 1,000 soldiers will not be immediately significant but it shows the international backers of Amisom want to see a handover of security to Somali soldiers and police.

African countries have been praised for bringing increased stability to Somalia but there is frustration about corruption among their forces and the failure to secure an adequate victory.


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