According to a press release sent to newsrooms, the new AMISOM Force Commander will oversee an expanded AMISOM force, which will include Kenyan, Ugandan, Djiboutian and Burundian forces.
The Force says Gutti takes over from Maj. Gen. Fred Mugisha whose tenure in the Force leadership helped drive the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab militant group, from its fixed positions in Mogadishu.
The removal of the militant group from the city has ushered in the Somali capital the longest sustained period of relative peace since the collapse of central government in 1991.
“Lt Gen Gutti has served in the Ugandan military for over 26 years, most recently as the Commandant of the Senior Command and Staff College of Uganda”, reads the press release in part.
According to the statement, the incoming Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti, recently made a tour to the AU forces’ defense lines in and around Mogadishu where he was briefed on the current operational environment by field commanders.
In February, the UN Security Council raised AMISOM’s authorised strength to 17,731 troops with Kenya, Djibouti and Sierra Leone offering up troops to join the Ugandan and Burundian Contingents currently deployed in Mogadishu and Baidoa.
The Kenyan forces are already deployed in the Lower Jubba and Gedo regions of southern Somalia and an advance party of 100 Djiboutian troops has already been deployed to Mogadishu.