Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Regional heads of state still want other
African countries to contribute to the stabilization effort in Somalia
under AMISOM. So far, this role has been played by states under the
regional grouping of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development
(IGAD) as well as Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
AMISOM is presently comprised of 6,000 Ugandan troops, 5,000 from
Burundi, 4,000 Kenyans and 1,000 troops from Djibouti. There are also
850 troops from Sierra Leone, with police units from Nigeria and Uganda.
Uganda, which was the first to deploy troops in the Horn of Africa
nation in March 2007, has the biggest troop numbers in Somalia.
The heads of state and government of the troop-contributing countries
under AMISOM as well as Ethiopia and Somalia held a summit at Speke
Resort Munyonyo between 1st and 4th August.
The summit chaired by President Yoweri Kaguta aimed to harmonize the
approach by the stakeholders in building a peaceful Somalia.
Also, in attendance was Ethiopian Premier Hailemariam Desalegn,
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Somalia President Hassan Sheikh
Mohamud and Djibouti defence minister Hassan Darar Houfaneh.
Others included Gabriel Nizigama the Burundian minister of public
security and Ambassador Andrew Gbebay Bangali the AU Permanent
Representative for Sierra Leone, and Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif
the AU Special Representative for AMISOM.
The presidential summit was preceded by the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Defence.
With the Al-shabaab defeated, the challenge is now on the Federal
Government of Somalia's ability to establish effective governance
structures in the liberated territory. Importantly, the summit stressed
the need for a regional political process to support Somalia to secure
Kismayo seaport and airport. Somalia's leaders have accused the Kenyan
troops based in Kismayo of meddling in Somalia's internal affairs,
handpicking local leaders and engaging in the banned charcoal trade,
which is a violation of the UN Security Council resolution.
But following the summit, Kismayo seaport and airport will be handed over to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS).
Also, Kismayo, the regional leaders decided,
is going to be boosted by a multinational force of Ethiopian National
Defence Forces (ENDF) and the Somali National Army, to operate alongside
the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF).
The leaders recognised that the Somali Federal Government should take
the lead in promoting reconciliation, establishing local
administrations appointing local leaders in the regions and ensuring
Also, the Somalia National Security Forces will recruit educated
Somalis as officer corps, while training of noncommissioned officers has
been shifted to Jazeera in Somalia.
There is also a plan to integrate all militias into the national army
except those associated with Al Shabaab. Also, a reconciliation
conference is set to be organized, which the process is to begin to
establish governance structures in liberated territories.
Also, the emerging concern is that AMISOM forces have reached their
operational limits and are unable to conduct further expansion
The leaders want the UN Security Council to support AMISOM and the
Somalia National Security Forces to enable them reorganize, restructure,
increase their forces and mobilize logistical support in order to
undertake further stabilization operations.