Araweelo News Network

By Maalik Som
Mogadishu(ANN)The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia Ambassador Francisco Madeira today held a meeting with the Somali Federal Government Deputy Prime Minister, Mohamed Omar Arte, to iron out sticking points on security operations in the country.

During the meeting, the two officials discussed how Somali national security forces and those from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) can co-ordinate and collaborate to defeat the terror gang, Al- Shabaab.

Ambassador Madeira said AMISOM was facing some challenges which need to be addressed for the regional force to deliver on its mandate. He said co-ordination between AMISOM and the Somali national security forces was critical in winning the war against Al shabaab.

“The interaction between AMISOM and the Somali national security forces is the one that is going to decide whether we win or not be able to overcome Al-Shabaab. And if that’s not there we are doomed to failure”, Madeira said.

The SRCC said he had raised security and defense issues with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at a previous meeting.

He noted that some of the pressing issues are related to the command and control structures between AMISOM and their Somali counterparts.

Ambassador Madeira who was accompanied by his deputy, Ms Lydia Wanyoto Mutende, and all the commanders from the five sectors in Somalia said there was need to enhance co-operation and complementarity of the Somali Government.

He noted that enhancing efficiency between AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia had been discussed in Addis Ababa as well as the United Nations in New York.

The SRCC said the war against Al-Shabaab was both political and ideological adding that for AMISOM to succeed, exchange of information was critical.

Briefing the media after the meeting Ambassador Madeira said the talks revolved around the key issues of additional enablers, completing of the Juba Corridor operation as well as the command and control structure.

“The Juba corridor operation, the clean-up operation, the cleaning of main supply routes so that the population can continue to move freely and go about its businesses, the need to secure liberated towns and communities, the much improved engagement between the SNA, the Somali intelligence services and the police. All these operations both in Mogadishu, Middle Shabelle and elsewhere”, Madeira added.

He said this would result on how to better co-ordinate and improve further the way AMISOM is pushing the operation forward.

The SRCC challenged the Somali population to find an approach that makes AMISOM feel that they are committed to take over the security of their country for the regional force to leave.

Mr Arte on his part appreciated the support the Federal Government of Somalia was receiving from AMISOM.

“Sometimes there are operational difficulties but we hope that SNA and AMISOM can address them”, the deputy Prime Minister said.

Present during the talks were Somali Defense Minister, Abdulkadir Sheikh Dini, and the deputy Chief of Defense Forces, Gen Ali Bashi Mohamed.


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