Mogadishu, 23 November—The Head of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Ambassador Francisco Madeira visited Beledweyne on Saturday where he said that the African Union Commission will soon provide relief support amounting to US$87,000 in the form of medical supplies and non-food items. Beledweyne, in the Hirshabelle State of Somalia, was devastated by heavy rains and flooding which destroyed houses, crops, roads and displaced thousands of families.
Ambassador Madeira also conveyed a message of solidarity and goodwill from the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Musa Faki.
“The Chairperson of the African Union Commission has instructed me to tell the population of Beledweyne that the African Union is with Hiran, Beledweyne and the whole population at this moment. I had the opportunity to go through the city, and I saw the devastation that the floods have caused,” Ambassador Madeira said.
The Head of AMISOM also commended AMISOM Sector 4 personnel for their tireless efforts in distributing relief items as well in conducting search and rescue operations during the humanitarian crisis.
After seeing some of the affected areas, Ambassador Madeira held meetings with the deputy president of Hirshabelle State, Ali Hussein Guudlaawe, the Governor of Hiran region, Ali Mohamed Arale and high-ranking officers from the Somali National Army, where they discussed the humanitarian and security needs of the state. He also took the opportunity to introduce to the Hirshabelle deputy president the new AMISOM Police Commissioner, Assistant Inspector General of Police Augustine Magnus Kailie, and the new Deputy Force Commander, Logistics and Support Maj. Gen. George Owinow who both recently joined the mission.
“I promised vice president Ali Hussein that AMISOM police and the military will continue to work with the Hirshabelle security forces in order for us to protect the population and do the best we can to open the main supply routes towards Fidow and Jowhar, until Mogadishu”.
He said opening the main supply routes was important in linking Hirshabelle towns as well as to facilitate the movement of people, goods and services.
Hirshabelle’s deputy president Ali Hussein expressed gratitude to AMISOM for its support.
“We have discussed the dire needs of the people in Beledweyne, Bula-burde, Jalalaqsi, Mahaday, Jowhar and Bal’ad towns that were affected by the floods. We appreciate AMISOM’s solidarity and support and we are ready to lead every effort aimed at helping these people. After this emergency, we would like to come up with durable solutions to mitigate the devastation caused by recurring floods in Beledweyne and Hiran region”, the deputy president said.
He also said that they had discussed plans for re-opening the main supply routes linking Hirshabelle towns, with view of launching an offensive to liberate these areas and open vital supply routes.
Earlier, Ambassador Madeira had been briefed by the commanders of AMISOM troops in the region, Mohamed Ibrahim Muse and Col. Abdirahman Riyale Hareed, on the overall security situation, with focus on action to take to re-open the main roads in the region currently blocked by the militant group, Al-Shabaab.
Ambassador Madeira—who also inspected progress on the construction of a police station at Beledweyne Airport—was accompanied by AMISOM Force Commander, Lieutenant Gen. Tigabu Yilma, among other senior AMISOM officers.