Change of guard as Kenya sends new Amisom commander to Somalia

Outgoing Sector II Commander of AMISOM Kenyan contingent Brig. Paul Njema hands over to the new commander, Brig. Jeff Nyagah at AMISOM Sector II headquarters in Dhobley/ AMISOM

Amisom’s Sector II Commander of the Kenyan contingent Brigadier Paul Njema has left Somalia.

Brig Njema officially handed over to Brig Jeff Nyagah, the new commander, on February 25 at Amisom’s Sector II headquarters in Dhobley.

He leaves with a contingent of troops who have been Somalia for an year in a routine change of guard.

Nyagah will now be tasked with implementing the Somalia Transition Plan, which provides for the exit strategy from the Horn of Africa state.

Brig Njema has succeeded Brig Dickson Rutto in February last year.

Brig Nyagah said his contingent will intensify synergy between the KDF troops and the Somali Security Forces through collaboration in running various operations against Al Shabaab.

He also noted that the tenth contingent will start various Civil-Military Cooperation projects to stabilise the operating environment and impact positively on the lives of the local residents.

KDF team to remain in Somalia after Amisom exit in 2021

The Brigadier takes over at a a time Al Shabaab has intensified attacks in the country.

UNSC special envoy to Somalia James Swan on Monday said attacks by the militant group have increased since August 2020, and 2021 has seen a rise in attacks targeting security points and hospitality industries.

“Al-Shabaab continues to pose the primary threat to the security of the country.  Al-Shabaab has increased its operational tempo since August 2020, and the beginning of 2021 has seen a new peak in the number of attacks, including more Person-Borne and Vehicle-Borne IEDs, targeting government officials and key figures in Somali society,” Swan told the UN Security Council.

In attendance during the change of command ceremony was the Sector Deputy Commander Colonel Pascal Kitiro, outgoing Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Clement Nyakundi, incoming Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Ongeso, Senior Operations Officer Lieutenant Colonel Kennedy Masai, and Commandant Dhobely Level II Hospital Lieutenant Colonel Wilson Koech among others.

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