AU Commission Chairperson Pledges AU’s continued support to Somalia’s peace and security efforts

(EBC; March 20, 2017)- The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat visited Somalia on his first field visit since assuming office.  

H.E Mahamat, was accompanied by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Amb. Smail Chergui and other senior AU officials, was met on arrival at Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu by Somalia Prime Minister H.E Hassan Ali Kheyre and the AU Special Representative for Somalia Amb. Francisco Caetano Madeira.

He held a meeting with the President of the Federal Government of Somalia H.E Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, at the presidential palace in the capital Mogadishu, where he stressed the commitment of the African Union to efforts aimed at restoring lasting peace and stability in Somalia.

The AU Commission Chairperson congratulated the President and the Prime Minister on their election to office; and for the orderly and peaceful manner in which the recently concluded electoral process was held.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) jointly with the Somali Security Forces played a critical role in ensuring a secure and conducive environment, for the electoral process to take place.

On the current drought situation, H.E Mahamat said the African Union will "stand with Somalia during this difficult time". Somalia is experiencing biting drought, as a result of failed rains. Thousands are on the brink of starvation as well wishers rally support for humanitarian supplies to save populations faced with hunger.

"I had the privilege of being received by the Prime Minister and President of the Federal Republic and I expressed our support and solidarity to Somalia," H.E Mahamat told journalists shortly after a meeting at the presidential palace.

The AU Commission Chairperson also addressed AMISOM staff based in Mogadishu. He commended the Mission's personnel for the sacrifices they have made over the last 10 years to restore peace in Somalia.

"To the officers in uniform and the civilians, Africa is grateful to you all. We admire your sense of courage, your determination and your commitment, for sacrificing yourselves for the sake of peace in Somalia," he said.

"You have also demonstrated that Africa is capable of ensuring its own security. We have come to meet you to express our appreciation to you for serving Africa," he added.

"Africa is grateful to her sons and daughters who are making such sacrifices for the sake of peace."

H.E Mahamat honoured Somali and AU troops who have lost their lives in pursuit of peace in Somalia, at a wreath laying ceremony, where he also unveiled a remembrance plaque mounted in honour of the fallen heroes.

The Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson, SRCC, for Somalia Amb. Francisco Madeira described the visit as significant for the people of Somalia and for AMISOM. AMISOM is African Union's flagship peacekeeping operation in the continent.

Source: Relief Web