Thursday August 2, 2018
UK State Secretary for Defence Rt. Hon. Gavin Williamson meets with AMISOM and Somali security forces in Mogadishu. AMISOM
Mogadishu - UK State Secretary for Defence Rt. Hon. Gavin Williamson has lauded
the progress made on the security front in Somalia, but cautioned that the
premature exit of the AU troops from the Horn of Africa country, could have an
adverse effect on gains already made.
The Defence Secretary said the UK
government was keen to ensure the exit of AMISOM from Somalia is not
undertaken, until the latter is fully capable of handling the national security
“The role they play is one that has
sometimes been a little bit forgotten around the world, but it should be
something that should be highlighted and should be celebrated; because without
the decisive action that has been undertaken, without the work that they have
been doing to deliver security, Somalia would be in a very difficult place,”
the Defence Secretary said shortly after meeting with the AMISOM Force
Commander Lt. General Jim Beesigye Owoyesigire, the Deputy Head of AMISOM Mr.
Simon Mulongo and other senior AMISOM
officials, at the Force Headquarters in the capital Mogadishu, on Tuesday.
“We discussed a number of issues,
particularly the ongoing support that they give to the African Union and
AMISOM, the Transition Plan implementation, the activities that we are trying
to scale up in Somalia; and also, we discussed the new (UN) resolution. AMISOM
has certain tasks to undertake in the fulfilment of its mandate,” Mulongo
The minister, who was making his first
official visit to Somalia expressed the UK government’s commitment to
furthering support to the Somali National Security Forces through capacity
“What we need to do is make sure that the
Somali government has the necessary capabilities and resources, to be able to
deliver security within its own borders,” he noted.
The Rt. Hon. Williamson also visited the
AMISOM Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Cell, where he interacted
with the AU and Somali facilitators on issues of child protection, gender and
conflict related sexual violence.
He commended the “extensive cooperation”
among diverse stakeholders, that is enabling the reconstruction of Somalia.
“Coming here to Somalia, for the first
time, has made a huge impression on me,” he noted. “It’s been great to see the close working
relationship we have with AMISOM and so many different nations from right
around the globe. What has struck me are the real opportunities that Somalia
The UK government through the United
Kingdom Mission Support Team (UKMST), is supporting the AU Mission in diverse
ways and has bolstered training support to the troops and their counterparts in
the Somali security forces in Mogadishu and in the federal states.