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AU lauds progress on peace efforts in Somalia

Monday February 8, 2016

The African Union (AU) on Monday lauded progress achieved in bringing peace in Somalia despite increased terror attacks from Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab.

AU Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Francisco Madeira emphasized progress made in Somalia since the first AU troops arrived in Mogadishu in 2007.

"AMISOM, through joint military operations and other interventions, has created an environment where political process, particularly reconciliation and state formation, is an evolving and tangible reality," he said during AMISOM's Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) meeting in Nairobi.

Madeira enumerated the political achievements enabled by the relative peace currently being enjoyed in the Horn of Africa nation despite attacks from insurgents.

The AU official added that the most significant indication that AMISOM efforts have borne tangible results is the decision made by the Somali government on the electoral model to be used in the coming elections later this year.

He also acknowledged the enormity of tasks that lay ahead before the elections, especially in maintaining a secure environment for such political progression.

"This laudable milestone in the Somali reconciliation process represents an additional challenge to AMISOM as it will be required to move with speed in the stabilization of the country so that the electoral administration and the casting of the votes can take place in a peaceful environment," Madeira noted.

"Robust military action must go hand in hand with an equally robust, inclusive and effective political reconciliation process to win the hearts and minds of the population and ensure that the Somali people fully assume their political and security responsibilities at local, regional and national level," the AU official added.

AMISOM, deployed to the Horn of the African nation in 2007, has been trying to bring peace to a country that has had no functioning central government for the past 20 years, during which it has been torn apart by factional fighting and has faced a series of humanitarian crises.


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