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Leaders: Stop criticising Amisom countries unfairly

05 August 2013, 16:10 PSCU

Kampala - Leaders of countries contributing troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Sunday said unfair accusations, deliberate distortion of facts and bad mouthing against their members must stop.

The leaders’ spoke in the wake of a statement appearing in Kenyan and Somali media, attributed to some Somali leaders, saying Kenya should withdraw its troops from the Horn of Africa country. The Somali delegation withdrew the statement at the meeting at Munyonyo, Uganda, after Kenya and other regional countries strongly objected.

Kenya has played a leading role in peace initiatives in Somalia, leading to major achievements including liberation of the Port of Kismayu.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the AMISOM Troops Contributing Countries (TCC) Heads of State Summit in Uganda, regional leaders also rejected suggestions to re-hat the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The leaders, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, Yoweri Museveni and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, argued that the move was premature and would cause a dysfunctional command and control.

They said folding AMISOM into the UN Mission would cause inequitable distribution of resources and render operations of the Mission ineffective.

They emphasized the need for continued African leadership in the efforts to stabilize Somalia and reduce the threat of Al Shabaab. They underlined the fight against Al Shabaab as the major focus of TCC.

The summit also supported the Federal Government of Somalia’s commitment to hold elections by 2016.

The leaders requested the Federal Government of Somalia to prioritize the reintegration of various militias, with the exception of Al Shabaab and its allies, to establish a cohesive Somalia National Security Force.

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