The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira has warned of a sinister plot by Al-Shabab aimed at discrediting AMISOM and turning the public against its forces serving in Somalia.
Addressing a press conference today, Ambassador Francisco Madeira who is also the head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), said the plan involves Al-Shabab committing atrocities, disguised in uniforms stolen from AMISOM troops.
Al-Shabab, he said, plot to strike in communities in the liberated areas that are currently enjoying peace, thereby tarnishing the image of the Mission.
“Al-Shabab is now trying to utilize uniforms and other things they have stolen from AMISOM troops to disguise themselves as AMISOM troops and commit atrocities against the population then blame it on AMISOM,” Ambassador Francisco Madeira noted.
He however appealed to the public to be on the lookout and guard against such manipulations.
“If you see any suspicious behavior by anybody in AMISOM uniform, report it immediately to your immediate authorities so that we can all be able to defeat this heinous enemy who does not respect life, who does not want the development of the people of Somalia,” Ambassador Francisco Madeira warned.
AMISOM troops, he noted, in addition to having a strict code of conduct, have profound respect for the Somali population, observe human rights and respect the rule of law.
Ambassador Francisco Madeira also reiterated that the town of Marka is still under the hands of Somali National Army (SNA) backed by AMISOM forces and urged the public to disregard whatever information being propagated by the Al-Shabaab. He termed the propaganda on ‘Marka takeover’ as a desperate attempt by Al Shabaab to mislead the public that it was becoming a powerful force and AMISOM was losing ground.
Ambassador Francisco Madeira addressed press moments after holding a meeting with all AMISOM Sector Commanders who he said reiterated their commitment to root out the Al-Shabab.