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AU Special Representative holds talks with Somali imams in Minnesota

Storyline:National News

The ​Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and Head of AMISOM Ambassador Maman Sidikou has underscored the important role religion can play in stabilizing Somalia.

In a meeting with Somali imams representing ten mosques in Minnesota, United States, on Thursday 1 October 2015, the SRCC said the turmoil in Somalia could be significantly reduced through the contribution of religious leaders.

Ambassador Sidikou added that the missing link in AMISOM’s efforts in stabilizing Somalia is the spiritual component.

“This stabilization cannot just have a material component, it has also to have the spiritual component which is very much needed”, Ambassador Sidikou noted.
He explained that AMISOM’s main task was to degrade Al-Shabaab and to protect vulnerable groups including women and children to allow Somalia return to normalcy.

“In our mission as AMISOM we are soldiers, we are police and we are a few civilians. We have a main task of creating conditions for a political process to unfold so that the country can go back to some sort of normalcy”, he noted.

He urged Somalis and all those working to stabilize it, to reflect on how to give opportunities to the youth, women and the general population so that they can feel part and parcel of the country.

Speaking during the meeting, one of the imams, Sheikh Hassan Mohamud ‘Jaamci’ assured the SRCC that they wanted to be part of the solution to the problems that bedevil Somalia.

“We as Somalis at this time, we need help and we need support first from Allah and then from people who can understand our situation and can help us. And we think
African countries could be a bridge or gateway to our solution because of some similarities that we share whether its like African culture, whether we talk about the environment, the land, the politics in Africa and all this”, the imam said.

The religious leaders conceded that besides taking on Al-Shabaab militarily there were other means to degrade the terror group including the use of religion.

Ambassador Sidikou is in the United States to meet various groups of the Somali community including the youth, women and police officers working for various states.