Special Reports

AU Envoy Mulongo Visits Somalia amid Heightened Tension

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Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia (D/SRCC) Hon Simon Mulongo Tours Uganda’s Sector in Mogadishu.

The newly appointed Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia (D/SRCC) Simon Mulongo visited sector one headquarters of AMISOM in order to get accustomed to the area as he takes on the mantle of overseeing operations in Somalia.

The Uganda Contingent Commander Brig Muhanga Kayanja received Mulongo, and briefed him on several issues regarding AMISOM, revealing that Somalia still has a lot of problems that need to be addressed.

The AU official was also walked through issues like; the persistent Clan rivalries in the sector, land ownership for agriculture and economic rivalries especially in Marka port.

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“These conflicts have made the situation more volatile as Al-Shabaab has for many times used them to launch attacks on own forces,” Brig Muhanga said in a statement.

The Contingent Commander also enumerated to the new D/SRCC a number of existing challenges that continue to negatively impact on the mission in general such as; lack of Air capability by AMISOM, expanded area of operation visa vie inadequate number of personnel, poor conditions of Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), extended lines of communication, poor road network, threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and the inadequate Defense stores to fortify own defensive positions among others.

Among the achievements Brigadier Muhanga highlighted include: AMISOM ensuring an environment which enabled the Electoral process to take place, Capture of Mogadishu city and key towns of Marka, Afogoye, Barawe and also the relocation of all partners including UN agencies from Nairobi to Mogadishu where they hitherto operated from.

In his remarks the D/SRCC expressed his happiness to the troops for the Pan- African Spirit exhibited in Somalia, and recollected that all attempts were put in place by UN and other world leaders to restore peace and stability in Somalia but all were futile not until 2007 when Uganda sent in a contingent of UPDF to restore a resemblance of peace, stability and legitimate governance that we see today.

Hon Mulongo also reminded the officers on the fact that many people may not understand the dynamics and technicality of the operations.

That this has often led to uncalled for accusations that should not derail them from their strategic objectives as they implement their mandate.

He observed that there should not be a compromise on how the exit of troop contributing countries should be executed in the drawdown of forces plan, but rather the leadership must ascertain the capability of SNA and SNP to take full control of the security of the Somali people.

“TCCs and partners must sit and review the exit plan very well so that we don’t see another Somalia failed State only two days after our exit.”

Hon Simon Mulongo replaced Hon Lydia Wanyoto whose  contract expired on March 31, 2017.

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