Mogadishu-December 15, 2014; The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Maman S. Sidikou on Monday joined senior AMISOM military officers to bid farewell to the immediate former Force Commander Lieutenant General Silas Ntigurirwa who has completed his tour of duty.
Ambassador Sidikou thanked Lt. Gen. Ntigurirwa for his dedication and leadership during his tenure as AMISOM Force Commander and wished him well in his future endeavours.
“It is my pleasure and indeed that of the entire AMISOM family to say thank you and bid farewell to our immediate former Force Commander Lieutenant-General Silas Ntigurirwa who served AMISOM with dedication and zeal during his tenure, recording significant military successes against the Al-Shabaab extremists. We wish him well in his future undertakings,” Ambassador Sidikou said.
A guard of honour – made up of African Union soldiers – was mounted at the airport to signify the end of his command of the 22,000 strong AMISOM forces in Somalia.
Major-General Jonathan Kipkemoi Rono of Kenya, who until recently was Deputy Force Commander in charge of Support and Logistics, is now the Acting AMISOM Force Commander until a new Force Commander is appointed.
Lt. Gen. Ntigurirwa was seen off by the SRCC-Ambassador Sidikou, the United Nations Special Representative for Somalia Ambassador Nicolas Kay, AMISOM Police Commissioner Anand Pillay as well as senior AMISOM commanders from Uganda, Ethiopia and other African countries and individual support staff at the AMISOM Force headquarters.
Lt. Gen. Ntigurirwa was appointed AMISOM Force Commander on December 16, 2013 taking over from Lt. General Gutti of Uganda. During his year-long command, the Mission recorded significant military victories against the Al-Shabaab militants by liberating many strategic towns, including the former stronghold of Baraawe, under Operation Indian Ocean and Operation Eagle.