AU mission vows to help Somalia hold successful polls
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Wednesday vowed to help Somalia hold successful elections slated for September and October and called for support from the international community.
The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Francisco Madeira, said a successful electoral process will not only be a victory for Somalia but also the pan-African body and the international community.
Madeira, who is also the head of AMISOM, said that the political progress in Somalia was testament to what can be achieved through cooperation among members of the international community in tackling terrorism as a global threat and not an isolated problem.
He was referring to activities by the Al-Shabaab Islamist militant group in Somalia. AMISOM forces have been helping the Somali government battle the militants who carry out periodic attacks mostly in the country.
He reiterated that AMISOM will work together with the Somali National Security Forces to ensure the electoral process is successful.
“I would like to stress the commitment of the African Union to support Somalia and work with the Somali National Security Forces in securing the forthcoming election,” Madeira said in a statement.
He stressed that efforts would be intensified to defeat Al-Shabaab militants, adding that the focus will be on clearing main supply routes and opening up rural areas to enable residents move freely.
“Al-Shabaab militants have fled from the towns we have captured, they are hiding in the bushes, from where they continue to terrorize the Somali people,” he said.
“This time, we will not only capture their territory but will also aim at disrupting, degrading and destroying Al-Shabaab terrorists and their fighting capacity,” he added.
(Writing by Hassan Istiila. Editing by Julian Kamau)