Somali President attends AMISOM Summit in Kampala
Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi arrived in Uganda’s capital Kampala on Thursday evening to attend a summit of AMISOM Troop Contributing Countries.
The meeting which is hosted by the government of Uganda will kick off on Friday morning.
Leaders from Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda will also be participating the summit which is scheduled to focus on security plans for Somalia.
The meeting is a follow up to the meeting that took place in New York last year.
AMISOM has been active in Somalia since 2007, propping up the weak internationally-backed government.
According to reliable sources within Villa Somalia, President Farmajo is expected to discuss launching massive operations against Al-Shabaab fighters.
” This year, President Farmajo wants to prioritize operations against Al-Shabaab. During the summit in Kampala, the President will table plans including offensives against Al-Shabaab across the country. The government plans win the fight against Al-Shabaab before the planned exit of AMISOM (2020), ” the source at the president’s office told Hiiraan Online.
He noted that Somalia plans to convince the leaders attending the conference to accelerate trainings for the Somali soldiers before mid this year.
” President Farmajo will urge the leaders to train more soldiers for Somalia as to conclude the preparation of Somali soldiers before June,” he whispered.
Transfer of Security Responsibilities
The Summit will closely examine the stability and security of the horn of African nation as the continental forces prepare to pull out from the country.
Somalia consistently struggles to rebuild its forces which will be taking the security responsibilities from AMISOM troops when their ( AMISOM) mandate expires.
The leaders are also discussing on the UN Security Council Resolution that will facilitate the withdrawal of AMISOM troops from Somalia.
The UN Security Council Resolution 2372 (2017) had called for reduction and draw-down of the AU troops in Somalia.
According to the Resolution, AU was asked to pull out 1000 troops from Somalia by December 2017, and withdraw another 1000 in May 2018 and the final troops will leave Somalia in 2020.
Uganda which has largest contingent in AMISOM late last year announced that it had completed the first withdrawal of its troops from Somalia.
The country’s military spokesman, Brig. Richard Karemire said Uganda withdrew 281 of its soldier from Somalia as per the UN Security Council Resolution.
“We have already fulfilled our requirement as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution. We have already reduced our troops in Somalia by 281 in compliance with the December 31 deadline,” Karemire said.
AMISOM leaders urged for more support to efficiently execute their mandate.
Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa, said the Mission was also in need of force enablers and multipliers which are crucial in carrying out effective operations.
“Going forward, it is essential therefore that the international community looks at the bigger picture in Somalia, so that the gains made in recent years through enormous efforts and great sacrifice of AMISOM and the Somali National Army (SNA) are not in vain,” Mr. Kutesa noted.
Ambassador Smail Chergui, the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, appealed for increased and coordinated international aid for activities that support the transition plan to enable the Somali national security forces take over security responsibilities of their country.
“The primary focus of the African Union in the coming period should then be to support accelerated progress on this roadmap, continue constructive Federal Government of Somalia-federal member states engagement, and full implementation of the Somalia Transition Plan,” Chergui said.
The UN Security Council Resolution was strongly opposed by United States saying it was not the right time to reduce peace keepers in the country.
U.S warned that the extremist threat in the region has not been neutralized.