Somalia, AU mull new security strategy to thwart terror threats

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MOGADISHU (HAN) May 1. 2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News.  Somalia and the Africa Union are planning new security strategies to help thwart terror threats in the Horn of Africa nation.

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia Francisco Madeira held security talks with Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omart Arte to thrash out sticking points on security operations in the country.

“During the meeting, the two officials discussed how Somali national security forces and those from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) can co-ordinate and collaborate to defeat the terror gang, Al-Shabaab,” the pan-African body said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Sunday.

AMISOM which crossed into the Horn of the African nation in 2007 has registered a string of successes against Al-Shabaab militia who had seized much of the central and southern Somalia.

Al-Shabaab has said it views the presence of Kenyan troops in southern Somalia as an act of war and have been staging attacks in the East African nation particularly northeast areas bordering Somalia.

The group which has teamed up with global terror network Al-Qaida is now vowing an all-out war in AMISOM and Somalia government bases.

During the meeting, Madeira said AMISOM was facing some challenges which need to be addressed for the regional force to deliver on its mandate.

He said co-ordination between AMISOM and the Somali national security forces was critical in winning the war against Al-Shabaab.

“The interaction between AMISOM and the Somali national security forces is the one that is going to decide whether we win or not be able to overcome Al-Shabaab. And if that’s not there we are doomed to failure,” the AU envoy said.

He noted that some of the pressing issues are related to the command and control structures between AMISOM and their Somali counterparts, calling for the need to enhance co-operation and complementarity of the Somali government.

Madeira noted that enhancing efficiency between AMISOM and the Somali government had been discussed in Addis Ababa as well as at the UN in New York.

He said the war against Al-Shabaab was both political and ideological adding that for AMISOM to succeed, exchange of information was critical.

The AU envoy said this would depend on how to better co-ordinate and improve the way AMISOM is pushing the operation forward.

He challenged the Somali population to find an approach that makes AMISOM feel that they are committed to take over the security of their country for the regional force to leave.

During the meeting, Arte appreciated the support the Somali government has received from AMISOM.

“Sometimes there are operational difficulties but we hope that SNA and AMISOM can address them,” Arte added.

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