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Somalis celebrate as AMISOM hands over national stadium


The African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has officially handed over the country’s national stadium to the government, which they had been occupying since 2011.

VOA journalist, Harun Maruf, reported that cleaning up of the stadium that has not hosted any sporting event since 1991, has kicked off in earnest.

The stadium in Mogadishu was captured from jihadist group Al Shabaab by AMISOM and the Somali Army during an operation to liberate the city in September 2011.

Al Shabaab had banned all sporting activity as it used the stadium as a base for terror activities.

During a pre-handover inspection of the stadium on Monday, Somalia’s president Mohamed Farmaajo thanked AMISOM for their continued support towards the restoration of peace.

AMISOM says the president expressed satisfaction with the transition process, as the peacekeeping force works exiting the Horn of Africa country.

AMISOM’s Uganda Contingent Commander, Brig.Gen Paul Lokech, says the handover of the stadium to the Somalia Government is to facilitate rehabilitation and proper usage of the facility.

Somalis celebrate handover

News of the handover was celebrated on social media, where pictures and videos of Somalis cleaning the facility were also shared.

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