Premises of Somali National University (SNU) which has been under the control of under African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for more than half a decade will be handed over to Somali government, AU said on Wednesday.
The AU body said the educational institution is currently being rehabilitated by its officers to ensure it is handed over to the Federal Government in good condition.
“Our task is to fill in the pits that were created when the Burundi troops were living here and to clear the containers that were left behind. We are also clearing the concrete barriers and leveling the ground so that the facility is in good condition and can be handed over to the Federal Government of Somalia.” Maj. Raymond Kemei, from the AMISOM said.
The Burundi AMISOM military contingent has been using the university as its command headquarters until recently when a decision was reached to relocate the troops to Jowhar to pave way for the repossession of the facility by the Somali government.
Rector of Somali National University (SNU), Mohamed Ahmed Jimaale has welcomed the decision, saying it will be used to impart knowledge and expand opportunities available for Somali youths.
“If you leave this campus operational, it will show the world that AMISOM, especially the Burundi contingent, left behind a golden place that can produce professional workforce that Somalia will need for its developmental programmes,” said Jimaale.
Jimale said that the institution has symbolic significance to Somalia and handing it over to the government will send a powerful message to the rest of the world that Somalia is on the right path to recovery.
Since 2012, when al-Shabaab was pushed out from the capital, the Somali sport officials have been pressing the government and military authorities for a removal of the troops from studiums.
Among the stadiums based AMISOM is Mogadishu Stadium which the biggest sporting facility in the country.
It is serving as perfect sanctuary for the peacekeepers that came under constant attacks while Al-Shabaab was still controlling parts of the city.