Peacekeepers handover stadium to Somali government

The African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) peacekeepers have handed the Mogadishu Stadium to the government.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and his top officials received the keys to the sports complex at a ceremony on Monday.

The stadium is the biggest sports centre in the Somali capital.

President Farmajo underlined the importance of the facility in national development and the value of recreational in the people’s wellbeing.

Indoor basketball

“In order for Somalia to regain its sporting status in Africa and at international level, we are going to spare no efforts in restoring this Mogadishu Stadium to its former glory,” said President Farmajo.

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The complex consists of a large football arena, a track-and-field athletics ground, indoor basketball and volleyball grounds and facilities for other sports activities.

Amisom peacekeepers have been using the Mogadishu Stadium over the past eight years as one of their major security bases in the capital. The peacekeepers started vacating the complex earlier this month, following a request from the Somali government in July.

President Farmajo thanked the African countries that have contributed troops to Amisom for their role in stabilising Somalia and in the fight against the jihadist group Al-Shabaab.