AU delegation Visits Mogadishu

21 Aug 2010

AU delegation Visits Mogadishu

Tour de Force

By Captain Chriss Magezi

Mogadishu, 21st August 2010; The head of the African Union’s Peace Support Operations Division, Sivuyile Bam, recently paid a rare visit to the war torn Somali capital, Mogadishu, for an on-the-spot assessment of the AU’s peace keeping efforts there.

Mr. Bam and his entourage were received at the Mogadishu International Airport by the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Force Commander Major General Nathan Mugisha and other senior AMISOM military officers.

While briefing the delegation in his office, the Force Commander expressed his gratitude and called for more such visits in the future saying they would enhance strategic planning.

He described the prevailing security situation in Mogadishu as a combination of international terrorism, organized crime and a volatile political atmosphere. Armed groups opposed to the peace process had taken advantage of the fragile situation to enforce their barbaric and violent ways against the population using terror tactics including amputation of limbs, summary executions, desecration of burial sites, forced marriages, assassinations and suicide attacks.

Despite the setbacks, Gen. Mugisha applauded the three year old AU mission which, he noted, had registered tremendous progress in improving humanitarian conditions through, for example, securing the aid corridor into Somalia. He further observed that the mission had successfully protected strategic installations such as the International Airport and Sea Port resulting in increased trade volumes and passenger traffic. AMISOM is also providing crucial training and mentoring for the Somali Security Forces.

Mr. Bam later toured the Halane base and the force headquarters. He also saw the out-patient facility, which treats over ten thousand patients every month, and the Gezira training camp. The sites boasted new office blocks and accommodation buildings provided by UNSOA.

Mr. Bam also visited KM 4, a strategic junction in Mogadishu under the control of the AU forces. He thanked the peace keepers for their heroic efforts and sacrifices helping the people of Somalia. He revealed plans to expand the mission to other areas of Somalia as well as to further improve conditions in the mission area so that more countries would feel confident about contributing troops to AMISOM.