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"AVOID TURNING OUR GAINS INTO VAIN"

Thursday, 1st March 2018
Hon Sam Kutesa (right) delivers remarks at the opening of the meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence of AMISOM Troop Contributing Countries at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala

Uganda's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Sam Kutesa, tells all Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

He called upon the TCCs and other International Partners to establish predictable and sustainable solutions that can safeguard the enormous successes registered by the peace keeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Hon Sam Kutesa, said this as he opened the meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence of AMISOM Troop Contributing Countries at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala.

"As we consider concrete steps to forge a way forward on peace and security in Somalia, as TCCs we have made enormous efforts and sacrifices to AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA). Therefore it is crucial that mechanisms be put in place that aim at safe guarding the enormous AMISOM success," he added.

According to Hon Kutesa, some of the tremendous progress registered by AMISOM in the last 11 years include; the Somali Government previously based out of the country is now based in Mogadishu since 2007; international organisations including UN have relocated to Mogadishu, more than 80% of Al-Shabaab dominated areas have been liberated, threat of piracy at sea has been neutralised, business is thriving, construction and reconstruction progressing and regular elections have been held, among others.

Such positive developments and Somalia's relative stability, reflect the contribution of AMISOM and the Somali Security Forces, according to Hon Kutesa. As Somalia goes through the important  phase of consolidating its state functions, including the building of its national security forces, the draw down of AMISOM should be synchronized with the corresponding strengthening of Somali Security Forces.

The Foreign Affairs Minister applauded all international partners for the support they have given to AMISOM over the years; adding that it was and still is very important for the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States to continuously pursue inclusive politics to consolidate the peace and security in that country.

The African Union Commisioner for Peace and Security Ambassador Smail Chergui, while speaking at the same function, commended all TCCs to the AMISOM and other International Partners for their gradual assumption of primary security responsibility in Somalia that has registered a number of positive political developments in support of Somalia's journey to lasting peace and security.

Commissioner Smail Said: "A number of accomplishments have been achieved, largely aided by the political space and enabling environment created by AMISOM. For example the adoption of the National Security Architecture which provides the broad frame work to build the Somalia National Security Forces (SNSF) and the recent agreement on a roadmap on Inclusive Politics which calls for a constitutional review process, a new electoral model for universal elections by 2020, and reconciliation."

The UPDF Chief of Defence Forces of the UPDF, Gen David Muhoozi, noted that the security of Somalia calls for collective engagement by all TCCs to the AMISOM and SNA.

Present at the function was Uganda's Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs Hon Adolf Mwesige and ministers from AMISOM TCCs and the Federal Government of Somalia, Chiefs of Defence Forces and  International Partners.

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