Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says that the presence of peacekeeping troop of the the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has registered immense political and security successes against the Al-Shabaab militants in that country.
AMISOM has degraded considerably the capability of Al-Shabaab and liberated large areas of Somalia previously held by the group, he said here Sunday during the African Union (AU) Commission summit.
President Kenyatta noted that the liberation of these areas had altered the security landscape and offered a rare opportunity for the government of Somalia to initiate the process of State-building, and creating public safety and security for its people.
He added that the military operation had managed to block revenue flows to terrorist groups, and had reduced their capacity to finance their heinous agenda considerably.
However, he noted that Al-Shabaab remained a threat to Somalia, the region and the international community, citing the recent attack on a Kenya Defence Force (KDF) camp in Al Adde in Gedo Region (province) in southwestern Somalia, as well as the attack on the Burundi and Uganda contingents.
He said these attacks were clear manifestation of the evolving nature of the threat posed by Al-Shabaab, upon the region’s collective resolve to assist Somalia.
He said there was a need for a concerted operations relationship between the AMISOM and the Somali National Army and police in order to effectively pursue the Al-Shabaab militia.
Other leaders who attended Sunday’s summit included Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and host Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh.
president Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni sent representatives to the summit.
During the summit, the Heads of State and Government of Troop and Police Contributing Countries (T/PCCs) to the AMISOM adopted the Djibouti Declaration, which among other matters, calls for enhanced support for AMISOM to execute its objectives.