President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has assured the people of Somalia and the region of their commitment to stabilising the Horn of Africa.
The President who is the current Chairperson of the Heads of States from Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) made the assurance at the Extra Ordinary Summit of the troop-contributing countries held at State House Entebbe on Thursday.
He told delegates that the Summit reminded them of some of the problems that have been solved before in Africa including that of Idi Amin in Uganda working with Tanzania and the one of Burundi which was solved by East Africa.
“Africa can solve these problems once you agree on the concept. So, this problem (of Somalia), the one we’ve discussed today, I’m sure we can solve,” Gen Museveni said.
The summit was attended by Presidents from the troop-contributing countries and their delegates namely: H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia, H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, H.E. Evariste Ndahishimiye of Burundi, H.E. Dr. William Ruto of Kenya and the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia H.E Mr. Demeke Mekonnen.
Others were; The head of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) Ambassador Mohammed El-Amine Souef, IGAD Head of Mission in Uganda Her Excellency Lucy Daxbacher, the head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) Ms. Aisa Kacyira, who is- African Union Commissioners H.E. Imosemi Isevboja Sunday and H.E Mr Bankole Adeoye.
The summit commended the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia for successful implementation of its mandate including supporting smooth political transitions, saving lives and supporting stabilization efforts in Somalia.
It further underscored the importance of respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia and “reaffirmed its commitment to continue to assist in the spirit of Pan Africanism, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) in its stabilization efforts and the region shall not abandon Somalia and will explore alternative means to guarantee the security of Somalia,” read the joint communique adopted by the ATMIS Heads of States.
Their Excellences welcomed the initiative by the Federal Government of Somalia to take full ownership and leadership of Somalia’s Stabilization Strategy, which marks a renewed momentum by the Government to restore State Authority and provide basic public goods and services in liberated areas and called for the increased logistical support to the Somali Security Forces and extend the scope to reflect the realities on the ground.
“Agreed on the procedures for the drawdown of 2,000 ATMIS Troops in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2670 (2022); and Underlined the need for the joint assessment of the drawdown of 3,000 ATMIS Troops,” read the joint communique.
President of the Republic of Djibouti His Excellency Ismail Guelleh, and His Excellency, Dr. William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya were mandated to engage the development partners on behalf of the Troop Contributing Countries in the stabilization of Somalia.
At the same summit, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was commended for convening the Summit. They also mandated him and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to communicate to the United Nations Security Council the decisions and recommendations of this Summit.
The President of Somalia H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said his country will remain grateful for the contribution and the sacrifice made by the Troop contributing countries and the African Union to stabilize Somalia for the last 16 years.
“Somalia people will remain grateful to the troop-contributing countries and the African Union as well. We will move with the commitment you have shown us today in the remaining period of the mission. I’m more hopeful than I was when I came here,” H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said.
The major objective of the Summit was to evaluate the achievements made in the implementation of the ATMIS mandate and to review the ATMIS drawdown plan in compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 26/70 (2022) and 26/28.
The Summit is a follow-up event after the meeting between the President of the Republic of Somalia H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the President of the Republic of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, during the United States Africa Leaders’ Summit held in Washington DC, from December 13-15, 2022; in which H.E Hassan Mohamud requested H.E Museveni to host an Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State of the Troop Contributing Countries to ATIMS which include; Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
Some of the Ugandan delegates who attended the summit included among others; Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja (Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs), Gen. Jeje Odong and Okello Oryem (Ministers of Foreign Affairs), The Chief of Defense Forces Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, The Commander Land Force Lieutenant General Kayanja Muhanga and Brig. Peter Gaetano Omola the Contingent Commander Sector 1 in Somalia.