Mogadishu International Stadium ready for use but need refurbishing, Sport minister
Somali minister of sport has reiterated that African Peace-keeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces will move out of Mogadishu stadium immediately the ministry gets renovation fund.
Speaking to Goobjoog News, Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan said that AMISOM troops will vacate the stadium any time the government get ready to refurbish it.
“Troops were based there due to security affairs but it is not that AMISOM has overtaken the area. Therefore they will vacate the stadium immediately enough budget to rebuild it” said Mohamed.
With the city experiencing the longest period of stability in more than two decades, sports authorities in the country want the soldiers to vacate the stadium so they can start holding sports events there.
The Somali Football federation officials have several times asked the African Union peacekeepers in Somalia (AMISOM) to vacate from the country’s largest football facility Stadium Mogadishu.
“This is time to get the Somali soccer facilities back to the SFF hands, because our football is now recovering from years of conflicts and all soccer facilities must get back to our hands” SFF secretary General Abdi Qani Arab said in October when he together with Somali Football federation officials visited the stadium.
Meanwhile AMISOM admits that if the Somali government were to ask them to vacate the facility, their response may be different.
“If the government asks us to leave, then it means they are ready to take over the security of the city – and we will, of course, leave,” said “So far, we have had no official request from the government asking us to leave the stadium.” Former AU spokesperson Colonel Ali Hamud told the media during press conference late last year.
On 27th September this year, a soldier attached to AMISOM shot and killed a 14 year boy who was playing football with his friends near Mogadishu Stadium and the alleged murder raised questions and condemnations from the civil society members and the politicians in the country and outside Somalia as many civilians demanded the vacation of AMISOM from the stadium.
The stadium, which once had a capacity to hold 60,000 people, has been occupying the stadium since August 6, 2011, when Al-Shabab retreated from the Somali capital.
For the past 22 years of lack of a functioning government in Somalia, stadium Mogadishu has experienced the most difficult times yet and it several times changed into military compound for foreign troops in Somalia. In 1993 the facility was occupied by the US peacekeepers who operated in Somalia early 1990s.
In January 2007 Stadium Mogadishu fell into the hands of Ethiopian forces who were based there until they withdrew from Somalia early 2009.
It then fell into the hands of notorious Al-Shabab fighters who used it as a training base before they were forced out of capital by Somali government forces and AU troops in August 2011.
Since last year stadium Mogadishu has been house to thousands of African Union peacekeepers helping the fragile Somali government.