African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is appealing for more humanitarian support to help resettle residents in the areas liberated from the militia group, Al Shabaab.
Maj. Gen. James Nakibus Lakara, in charge of the Mission’s Support and Logistics, said there was an urgent need to help locals resume normal life after being displaced in areas formerly under control of Al Shabaab.
“I am pleased to note that the local population support AMISOM, they work hand in hand with AMISOM and this is good for the mission. In the near future the people will be able to stand on their own and not depend on AMISOM for support. To achieve this goal, AMISOM’s mission is to ensure that it builds the needed capacities. First of all of security institutions and mentor local officers to take charge, this is AMISOM’s exit strategy”, Maj. Gen. Lakara said after distributing food and other products to locals in Dinsoor, Bay region.
The AMISOM deputy force commander said infrastructure in Somalia was dilapidated and in need of reconstruction and urged the international community to increase resources to help stabilize the horn of Africa country.
In the recent past, AMISOM troops drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi and Djibouti have managed to seize control of large areas in rural Somalia, which were formerly under the control of Al Shabaab. As a result, AMISOM needs more resources to help resettle locals who had fled in fear of Al Shabaab.
Maj. Gen. Lakara said the peacekeeping force was ready to work with the local population in Dinsoor to help bring peace and security.
He said the cooperation between AMISOM and the locals should be replicated in other parts of the country.
AMISOM Civil Affairs Officer, Christopher Ogwang, who accompanied Maj. Gen. Lakara, said one of the mandates of his unit was to support troops on the ground stabilize areas that have been liberated. He singled out quick impact projects as some of the stabilization projects undertaken in liberated areas.
“Our responsibility is to do reconstruction where necessary. We are also extending our services to rehabilitate social facilities like schools, hospitals and police stations”, Mr. Ogwang added.
He said AMISOM would also support and work with local authorities including the district commissioner, the mayor and religious and community leaders to empower residents and improve their livelihood.
The civil affairs officer promised to help improve the lives of the youth by giving them necessary training and job skills to enable them fend for themselves.
The Dinsoor District Commissioner, Ibrahim Mohammed Noor, expressed his appreciation for the work AMISOM had done in the region.
“I’m very happy with AMISOM, the United Nations and the Federal Government of Somalia for the much needed aid to the people of Dinsoor. AMISOM and the local authority of Dinsoor work together amicably. The people of Dinsoor have confidence in AMISOM troops operating here. The people of this area and AMISOM collaborate together to defend themselves from the enemy of Somalia, that is Al Shabaab”, Mr. Noor added.
During the ceremony, assorted foodstuff including 2,260 kgs of rice, 2,150 kgs of sugar, 1,700 kgs of wheat flour, 80 kgs of salt and 1,000 litres of cooking oil were distributed. Also distributed were non-food items including 1000 pieces of mosquito nets.
This was part of the broader stabilization efforts aimed at providing humanitarian support to the newly recovered areas in a bid to attain sustainable peace and security in the regions.