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AU pledges to help Hirshabelle reopen roads in its state
Wednesday March 14, 2018
Mogadishu (HOL) - The African Union (AU) on Tuesday pledged to help Somalia's youngest state, Hirshabelle in its fight to reopen and secure main supply routes of the state.
Al-Shabaab militants have set up roadblocks on roads linking towns in Hirshabelle state where the group carries attacks against Somali National Army and AMISOM forces.
Following discussions between Hirshabelle state President, Mohamed Abdi Waare and AU Special Envoy to Somalia, Francisco Madeira, the AU said its troops will intensify the war against Al-Shabaab in Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.
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Madeira said he talked with President Waare on challenges that faced Hirshabelle state and means to help the state to set up adminsttrative structure in liberated areas.
" We discussed the details of the transition and saw the transition needs to be strengthened, what we think regional forces can contribute," Madeira noted, Adding " And the importance of regional forces to secure MSRs (Main Supply Routes) side-by-side with African Union Union Mission in Somalia ( AMISOM) and Somali National Security Forces."
This was the first meeting between President Waare and the Francisco Maderia.
For his part, Waare commended AMISOM's role in liberating Hirshabelle areas from Al-Shabaab militants.
"AMISOM is important to us in our daily lives, helping us to tackle these challenges in Hirshabelle," said Waare. “On behalf of the people of HirShabelle I want to offer our heartfelt condolences on the incident in Balad on March 2, 2018, in which soldiers from the Burundian contingent escorting a logistics convoy was ambushed.”
The leaders jointly agreed to accelerate the process to secure Mogadishu-Beledweyne roads.
The discussions come in the wake of a deadly attack by Al-Shabaab fighters on AMISOM convoy escorting trucks carrying supplies from Mogadishu early this month.
Al-Shabaab killed several AMISOM soldiers and destroyed vehicles in the attack on Balad, 30 km north of Mogadishu.
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