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Ambassador Bangali reiterates President Koroma’s commitment

Sierra Express Media
Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sierra Leone’s multi-accredited emissary to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ambassador Andrew Gbebay Bangali at the just concluded African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Troop Contributing Countries’ Summit of Heads of State in Kampala reiterated and registered His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s (in photo) unflinching commitment in ensuring Sierra Leonean troops not only serve diligently but return Somalia to normalcy.

Ambassador Bangali reiterates President Koroma’s commitment thumbnail

The Summit which was themed: “Towards a Harmonized Approach by the Stakeholders in Building a Peaceful Somalia,” was chaired by His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda and it aimed at harmonizing the approach by the stakeholders in building a peaceful Somalia.

Among the Heads of State who attended the Summit were the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Chairman of the African Union, His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn; President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia.

Other dignitaries that attended the meeting included: Mr. Hassan Darar Houfaneh, Minister of Defence of Djibouti; Mr. Gabriel Nizigama, Minister of Public Security of Burundi; Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and Head of Mission, AMISOM who represented the Africa Union AU.

Ambassador Bangali who represented President Koroma at the Summit said that the decision by the Government to become a troop contributed country in Somalia was borne out of the desire to effectively participate in bringing peace and stability to a sister country that deserved better than what was being current visited on her.

“Sierra Leone had gone through 11 years of a very brutal and fratricidal war in which the most egregious atrocities were committed and had been assisted by mainly African member states to bring an end to its own crisis,” he recalled.

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In the same spirit, he said, President Koroma and his Government decided this time around to commit a battalion of 850 soldiers to help stabilize Somalia, in addition to the Police contingent that has been serving there.

After statements were delivered, the Ministers made the following observations, the current AMISOM troop levels 17,731 are not adequate to liberate and stabilize the entire country; the governance structures in liberated areas are not being set up thus hampering the operations of AMISOM; the Somali Federal Government is facing challenges of equipping and rebuilding the national security forces and emphasized the need to strengthen the coordination between the national Security Council and AMISOM, among others.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the Summit reaffirmed its commitment, under the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Somalia. It commended the achievements of AMISOM, Ethiopia and the Somalia National Security Forces in restoring security and in degrading the capacity of Al-Shabaab. It encouraged other African countries to contribute to the stabilization effort in Somalia. It stressed that the fight against Al-Shabaab should continue to be the major focus of the Federal Government as well as regional and international partners, noting that there was a deteriorating security situation in some areas. It condemned recent Al- Shabaab terrorist activities resulting in the loss of innocent civilian lives and destruction of property. It underlined that the fight against Al Shabaab was the major focus of the Governments of Troop Contributing Countries and regional and international partners. In this regard, the leaders urged international stakeholders, partners and all friends of Somalia to lend their support to the Federal Government to realize its objectives.


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