Sierra Leone is withdrawing its troops from Somalia after the African Union blocked the West African country from rotating its soldiers over fears about the Ebola virus.
Sierra Leone sent 850 troops to Somalia for a 12-month deployment to fight the al-Qaeda-linked rebel group, al-Shabab, in Somalia in 2013.
Their rotation was delayed after a group of 800 soldiers, who were waiting to replace their comrades in Somalia, were quarantined after one of the soldiers was tested positive for Ebola.
“They have to go. We wish they could have stayed but they have been here long. And there is no rotation possible because of the nature of the situation,” Maman Sidou, the AU’s special representative for Somalia said during a farewell event for the troops held in the port city of Kismayo on Friday.