Uhuru : Somalia is arena for terrorism
Addis Ababa , Ethiopia ( Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for a review of the mandate of the African Mission in Somalia to change its rules of engagement as it fights to eradicate terrorists in Somalia.
Uhuru called for more resources for the forces in Somalia so that Amisom can have robust power on land, air and the sea.
Uhuru said it was sad that the forces deployed in Somalia to face terrorists and hardened criminals lacked air and maritime components in a country that has a coastline of more than 3333 km.
He said Amisom has made gains from the time it deployed forces in Somalia but now was the time to change gear and allow the soldiers in Somalia to root out the terrorists to enable the government of Somalia to recover the entire territory.
“The objective was to support Somalia to recover the entire territory in time for the 2016 general elections. It is clear that this objective has not been achieved and it points to the need to vary the mandate of AMISOM,”he said.
“In order to achieve this strategic objective, AMISOM requires a reviewed mandate to enable its troops match the changing tactics”.
Uhuru said terrorists were changing tactics and security forces in neighbouring countries as well as Amisom should take necessary action to stay steps ahead.
He said Kenya managed to foil many planned terror attacks after it established inter-agency modalities that enable security forces to detect and destroy terrorist plans.
The President said the mutating threat of the terror attacks facing the region became evident this month with the attack of the Amisom base with troops in Somalia.
He said that while terrorism was a global problem, the attack showed that Somalia was an arena of terrorism.
“In order to fight it, all of us must continue the difficult and daunting task of identifying, separating, tracking and deterring the enemy wherever they may be found,” said the President.
Uhuru presented the Peace and Security Council with a five-point recommendation. He sought a review of Amisom mandate to match al Shabaab’s mode of warfare.
He wants the Committee to ensure Amisom fully deploys troops in their respective areas of jurisdiction especially Gedo region in Sector 3 and review the sector allocations.
“The AU should ask the UN and international partners provide the necessary force multipliers to Amisom for better operational capabilities,” he said.
Uhuru also sought a predictable, adequate and sustainable funding for Amisom through the UN assessed contributions.
“It is imperative to provide resources to provide housing, jump-start livelihoods and offer support for initiatives that increase productivity in liberated areas in order to create pull factors and accelerate the return of refugees in to Somalia,” he said.
The President called on the leaders in South Sudan to be honest in implementing the peace accord they entered into. He at the same urged the AU to put pressure on the warring sides to opt for peace.
“I am optimistic that this Council will come up with decisions that guarantee humanitarian access to affected populations and exert the necessary leverage to all parties to invigorate implementation of the Peace Agreement,” he said.