Somalia: AU Forces Begun Vacating Mogadishu Sports Village

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Monday November 20, 2017 - 10:53:23 in Latest News
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    Somalia: AU Forces Begun Vacating Mogadishu Sports Village

    MOGADISHU (Somali Update Online) — The first batch of AMISOM troops have vacated Mogadishu Stadium which is the biggest sporting facility in the county, Somali ministry for Sport confirmed on Sunday.

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AMISOM solder stands guard inside the Stadium Mogadishu in 2011 shortly when the forces took over the facility. | File photo.
MOGADISHU (Somali Update Online) — The first batch of AMISOM troops have vacated Mogadishu Stadium which is the biggest sporting facility in the county, Somali ministry for Sport confirmed on Sunday.
The continental forces have been occupying the stadium since 2011 when the militant group al-Shabaab were pushed out of the city.
Speaking to local media, assistant minister for Sport, Ahmed Omar Islow said the premises will be handed over to Somali government.
"AMISOM withdrew number of its troops from Mogadishu to pave the ways for handing over the facility to the government, it will be rehabilitated by the government immediately the withdrawal process ends because the premise had been used as based therefore it need a lot of work," Islow added.
Somali Sport Bodies have several occasions called on AMISOM to vacate from the football facility which had been paralyzed since 1991 when Somali central collapsed.
Mr. Islow said as the country's sport is recovering from decades-long civil war, the government is putting more efforts to refurbish sport premises.
"Most sport facilities were destroyed during the civil war, sport is part of the factors which influence peace restoration. The government is rebuilding sport centres," the deputy minister highlighted.
More than two decades of lawlessness in Somalia, the stadium which had a capacity to hold 60,000 people had several times been used as military by foreign forces.
After the fall of the government led by late Mohamed Siyad Barre 1990, Mogadishu Stadium was occupied by US forces under then United Nations peacekeeping mission.
More than a decade after US troops withdrew from Somalia, Ethiopian forces took over the facility and had been occupying till their withdrawal in January 2009.
The stadium was subsequently occupied by al-Shabaab which used it as training and recruiting base before the group forces out the capital.

By Ahmed Mohamed Aden
SOMALI UPDATE ONLINE



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