Uganda to host EAC, IGAD security talks

Uganda contributes the largest share of troops to AMISOM with about 6,500 peacekeepers. AFP Photo

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Heads of intelligence and security services from the East African Community (EAC) and IGAD member states are due to meet in Kampala next week to review their fight against Al Shabaab.

The meeting due to take place between July 14 and 15 July will discuss ways and means of enhancing security cooperation and degrade the capabilities in the fight against Al Shabaab.

The review meeting was one of the resolutions agreed upon during the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 521st meeting held on June 30, 2015.

The Security Council meeting was convened to review the deployment of UN peacekeepers in the region and assess the operations of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Uganda contributes the largest share of troops to AMISOM with about 6,500 peacekeepers controlling Sector One that covers Lower Shebelle and Benadir regions.

The AU Security Council meeting acknowledged that significant progress has been made in Somalia, both on the political and security fronts.

‘In particular, Council notes with satisfaction the gains made on the ground thanks to the efforts of AMISOM and the Somali National Army (SNA),’ a communiqué states.

The Council paid tribute to AMISOM and SNA personnel for their commitment and courage but stressed the need for continued efforts by the Somalia government to reconcile parties.

Particular attention was drawn to the political process of fostering federalism and the formation of regional states, the constitutional referendum and the elections planned for 2016.

Council, however, noted, with deep concern that, in spite of the progress made on the ground, Al Shabaab continues to pose a serious threat, both in Somalia and in the rest of the region.

Driven out of their key bases by AMISOM forces, the Al Qaeda-linked group still carries out attacks against the Somali government and its security forces, AMISOM, the UN and civilians.

The meeting condemned the recent terrorist attacks against AMISOM personnel, including against Ethiopian and Burundian soldiers on June 11 and 26, 2015.

The attacks occurred in Jameco in the Bay region, and in Leego, Lower Shabelle, respectively, in addition to targeted assassinations of Somali officials and politicians and civilians by Al Shabaab.

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