Countries whose troops are in Somalia have been commended for their contribution in fighting terrorism in the region.
In an extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of Troop Contributing Countries to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and Federal Republic of Somalia held in Entebbe on Thursday, the countries said progress had been made in transforming Somalia into a secure and prosperous country.
They said focus must now be on the sustainability and predictability of financial support to win the war against terrorism in Somalia.
This, they noted, will ensure that “our forces in Somalia function effectively”.
Present in the meeting were Presidents William Ruto (Kenya), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Hassan Mohamud (Somalia), Ismael Omar Guelleh (Djibouti), Évariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi) and Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen.
The Summit noted that it was time countries cooperated through the effective sharing of intelligence to eliminate cross-border terrorism.
It also expressed satisfaction with the “operational success” against Al Shabaab, and strengthening the capacity of Somali Security Forces.
“The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia has implemented its mandate, including supporting smooth political transitions, saving lives and supporting stabilisation efforts,” stated a communiqué from the meeting.
The leaders stressed the need for the African Union Commission to consider utilising the AU Peace Fund to support the enhancement of the long-term security capabilities of Somalia.
President Mohamud said his country would “forever be indebted to the troops contributing countries” for their sacrifice and that of their people.
“I want the countries to remain until Somalia fully stands on its own feet. This will happen soon,” he said.
The Summit was convened to evaluate the achievements made in the implementation of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia.
Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Djibouti have contributed troops to pacify Somalia and fight terrorism.