An upsurge in the African Union Mission (Amisom) in Somalia and the return of Somalis to their homeland to help in reconstruction are key planks in stabilising the Horn of Africa country, President Uhuru Kenyatta said yesterday.
At the London Somalia Conference, Uhuru said although Amisom had made significant progress in neutralising terrorist activities and stabilising Somalia, there was still much to do before a planned Amisom drawdown, and transition to Somali security forces next year.
“I, therefore, urge this conference to endorse the call by the troop contributing countries and the African Union for urgent measures to support and strengthen Amisom, including the upsurge of Amisom by an additional 4,000 troops to liberate areas still under the control of terrorists,” he said.
“The international community should also facilitate the deployment of critical enablers and force multipliers, as well as the provision of predictable and sustainable funding, including from the United Nations assessed contributions,” Uhuru added.
The London Somalia Conference is co-chaired by British Prime Minister Theresa May, UN secretary-General António Guterres, and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, current chairman of the regional development agency Igad, and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni are also attending.
President Uhuru called for the provision of United Nations support to the Somalia security forces in order to accelerate the Amisom exit strategy. He sought support for the implementation of the Somalia National Development Plan to enable the people of Somalia, including refugees, to go back home and participate in the reconstruction of their country.
“For us, return of the people of Somalia, including repatriation of refugees has to be embraced as part of measures of bringing meaningful peace and security, as well as securing development of the country,” he said.