Mogadishu – March 6th, 2013; (Shabelle) As the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) marks its 6th year anniversary, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif, has paid tribute to the men and women of AMISOM and thanked the Somali people for their support for the Mission. He also extended his appreciation to the Troop Contributing Countries of Uganda,Burundi,Kenya and Djibouti as well as Ethiopia.
“Today marks the 6th anniversary of AMISOM’s deployment to Somalia. Much has been achieved since that fateful day in 2007 and I pay tribute to the brave men and women who have helped put Somalia on the path to peace and security. I would also like to thank the people of Somalia who welcomed us with open arms. We continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with them as they work to rebuild their country and its institutions,” he said.
Ambassador Annadif noted that with the aid of AMISOM, the Somali National Security Forces have driven the Al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group, Al-Shabaab, from Somalia’s major urban centres including the capital Mogadishu. He said that the objective of the mission is to get rid of all Al-Shabaab cells so that Somalia can be a stable and peaceful country with a professional army.
“The resulting improvements in security have enabled the people of Somalia to successfully conclude the 8-year transition to a more representative and legitimate political order,” he said.
He added that AMISOM was helping to train the core of a rejuvenated Somali National Army as well as a Somali Police Force to help secure these gains in the long term. Last year, it deployed two Formed Police Units to Mogadishu, the first ever deployed by the AU.
“The Mission is helping to build governance capacity within the Federal Government of Somalia by training civil servants and working with local officials and civil society to enhance linkages to the central government and strengthen connections between citizens and the state,” he said.
“We are also helping the government implement Quick Impact Projects such as rebuilding schools, roads, bridges, and medical facilities, as well as provide clean, potable water and temporary shelter for the internally displaced,” he added.
He said that the AU had completed a comprehensive review of AMISOM, the results of which had been transmitted to the UN Security Council, which is scheduled to vote on the re-authorization of the AMISOM mandate later today or tomorrow.