The first batch of AMISOM troops have vacated Mogadishu Stadium which is the biggest sporting facility in the county, Somali ministry for Sport confirmed on Sunday.
The continental forces have been occupying the stadium since 2011 when Alshabaab militants were pushed out of the city.
Speaking to local media, assistant minister for Sport, Ahmed Omar Islow said the premises will be handed over to Somali government one.
“AMISOM withdrew number of its troops from Mogadishu Stadium to pave the ways for handing over the facility to the government, it will be rehabilitated by the government immediately the withdrawal process ends because the premise had been used as military base therefore it need a lot of work,” Islow.
Somali Sport Bodies have severally called on AMISOM to vacate from the football facility which had been paralysed since 1991 when Somali central collapsed.
Islow said as the country’s sport is reccovering from decades-long civil war, the government is putting more efforts to refurbish sport premises.
“Most sport facilities were destroyed during the civil war, sport is part of the factors which influence peace restoration. The government is rebuilding sport centres,” the deputy minister highlighted.
More than two decades of lawlessness in Somalia, the stadium which had a capacity to hold 60,000 people had several times been used as military base by foreign forces.
After the fall of the government led by late Mohamed Siyad Barre 1990, Mogadishu Stadium was occupied by US peace-keepers.
More than a decade after US troops withdrew from Somalia, Ethipian forces took over the facility and had been occupying it till 2009.
The stadium was subsequently occupied Alshabaab which used it for training base before the group forces out the capital.