AU seeks help to resettle Somalis in liberated areas



The African peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) has called on humanitarian support to help resettle residents in the areas liberated from Al-Shabaab.

AMISOM deputy force commander Maj. Gen. James Nakibus Lakara said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Friday that the peacekeeping mission needs more resources to help resettle locals who had fled in fear of the militants.

“I am pleased to note that the local population support AMISOM. They work hand in hand with AMISOM and this is good for the mission,” said Lakara, a Kenyan who is in charge of the Mission’s Support and Logistics.

Lakara said there was an urgent need to help locals resume normal life after being displaced in areas formerly under control of the insurgents who have waged several attacks against the Western-backed Somalia government.

The deputy force commander who also distributed food and other products to locals in Dinsoor, Bay region urged the international community to increase resources to help stabilize the Horn of Africa country.

“In the near future the people will be able to stand on their own and not depend on AMISOM for support. To achieve this goal, AMISOM’s mission is to ensure that it builds the needed capacities,” Lakara said.

But he said the Horn of Africa nation’s infrastructure was dilapidated and in need of reconstruction.

His remarks came as AMISOM troops drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi and Djibouti have managed to seize control of large areas in rural Somalia, which were formerly under the control of Al-Shabab.

Lakara said the peacekeeping force was ready to work with the local population in Dinsoor to help bring peace and security, noting that closer cooperation between AMISOM and the residents should be replicated in other parts of the country.

AMISOM Civil Affairs Officer Christopher Ogwang said one of the mandates of his unit was to support troops on the ground to stabilize areas that have been liberated.

“Our responsibility is to do reconstruction where necessary. We are also extending our services to rehabilitate social facilities like schools, hospitals and police stations,” Ogwang said.

He said AMISOM would also support and work with local authorities including the district commissioner, the mayor and religious and community leaders to empower residents and improve their livelihood.

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