AU vows to continue war on terror in Somalia as COVID19 flexes muscle

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has vowed to continue to fight against al-Shabaab fighters amid Coronavirus outbreak in Somalia.

In a statement issued this week, the mission said it had put in place solid interventions and preventative measures to contain the virus, while concentrating on its mandate to ensure peace and security in Somalia.

Brigadier General Richard Otto, who is Commander of Sector 1, under which Mogadishu falls, said that while the coronavirus has come with obvious disruptions, AMISOM soldiers are prepared to deal with this public health threat while forging ahead with the mission of protecting Somalia from the threat of terrorists.

“Our mission here is to degrade Al-Shabaab and bring peace to Somalia. While we have all protocols to deal with Covid-19, we are very ready to ensure that we achieve our mission,” Brig. Gen. Otto said.

Lockdown

AMISOM leadership instituted measures which include minimal staff movement, observing of social distancing, wearing of protective gear, regular washing of hands with soap and use of hand sanitizers in all its camps.

“The SRCC, Ambassador Madeira, and the AMISOM Force Commander have set up COVID Taskforce teams in the sectors, which feed into the main Co-ordinating team in Mission Headquarters. There are clear protocols and guidelines in writing on how to deal with the pandemic,” Brig. Gen. Otto said.

These guidelines, including daily temperature checks on all personnel, are followed not only in Mogadishu and the Banadir region but in Lower Shabelle towns of Afgoye, Qoryoole, Marka, and Barawe.

The statement said all personnel stationed at entry and exit points are kitted in protective gear, while visitors are screened before they are allowed in.

“Before we let anyone in, they have to wash hands with soap and water. We then take their body temperature and record them in our books in case we will need to do contact tracing in the future,” said Private Laetitia Namugala, a nurse at AMISOM Level 2 Hospital.

The hospital’s commanding officer, Captain Doctor Gideon Nuwagira, said the hospital continues to attend to all medical conditions but any suspected cases of COVID-19 receive the utmost priority.

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