The Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), convened in Kenya’s capital Nairobi today, to discuss the situation in Somalia.
Attending the meeting were AU Special Representative for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, Commissioner for Peace and Security at the African Union Commission Ambassador Smail Chergui, Acting AMISOM Force Commander Major General Mohammedesha Zeyinu and Chiefs of Defence Staff from Troop Contributing Countries, among other high ranking officials.
In his opening address, Ambassador Madeira paid tribute to troops whom he said have made enormous sacrifices to advance the AU cause of liberating Somalia.
“ I would want to pay tribute and acknowledge the efforts and dedication of all our soldiers and policemen and women in the ranks of AMISOM, who in very trying circumstances, are presently holding the Pan-African banner and fighting Al Shabaab with courage, dedication and enormous personal sacrifice. I thank these living African Heroes,” he stated.
He emphasized progress made in Somalia since the first AU troops arrived in Mogadishu in 2007.
“AMISOM, through joint military operations and other interventions, has created an environment where political process, particularly reconciliation and state formation are an evolving and tangible reality,” he noted, as he enumerated the political achievements, enabled by the relative peace currently being enjoyed in Somalia.
Ambassador Madeira added; “The most significant indication yet that our efforts have borne tangible results is the decision made by the Federal Government of Somalia on the electoral model to be used in the coming elections later this year.”
He also acknowledged the enormity of tasks that lay ahead before the elections are held in Somalia later in the year, especially in maintaining a secure environment for such political progression. “This laudable milestone in the Somali reconciliation process, represents an additional challenge to AMISOM as it will be required to move with speed in the stabilization of the country so that the electoral administration and the casting of the votes can take place in a peaceful environment,” he noted.
“The crisis we are faced with in Somalia is both terrorism and insurgency. Robust military action must go hand in hand with an equally robust, inclusive and effective political reconciliation process to win the hearts and minds of the population and ensure that the Somali people fully assume their political and security responsibilities at local, regional and national level,” Ambassador Madeira said.
The Last joint Military Operations Coordination Committee meeting was convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 1 September 2015.