Thursday, October 23, 2014

Somalia Asks Sierra Leone Troops be Excluded From AMISOM Rotation
Sierra Leone troops being inspected by AFRICOM.
October 23, 2014

Somali leaders have asked that troops from Sierra Leone be excluded from African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) rotations due to the threat of Ebola, Somalia's RBC Radio reported Wednesday (October 23rd).

"To avoid the potential risk of transporting Ebola into our country, we have raised our concern to the African Union and the government of Sierra Leone," Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari told the legislature Wednesday. "We have written officially to these entities and told them to stop troops' rotation."

"We are driven by the fact that our people are very vulnerable to the spread of the disease and we need to stand for the wellbeing of our citizens," he said.

Last week, a Sierra Leonean soldier was diagnosed with Ebola, though the country's government said he had not been in contact with the troops meant to be deployed to Somalia.

Also on Wednesday, Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed said he discussed the Ebola issue with African Union officials and had ordered increased measures to prevent the spread of Ebola into Somalia, describing the virus as a "serious issue" which must be treated accordingly.

"We want the AU, together with our officials, to make sure that the rotation of troops from any affected country is suspended," he said.

The ministries of health and national security and all responsible government officials have been ordered to monitor the country's airports, borders and other locations to prevent the virus from entering Somalia, Ahmed said.

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