Mogadishu, 01 March 2016 – The Interim South West Administration (ISWA) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are making concerted and sustained efforts at degrading Al Shabaab from the Lower Shabelle region.
ISWA Minister of Interior Mr. Abdirahman Ibrahim Aden accompanied by Governor of Lower Shabelle Mr. Ibrahim Aden Ali and a respected elder Sultan Aliyow Warsame, held a meeting at AMISOM headquarters on Tuesday 1 March 2016 with officials from the Political Unit, to seek enhanced protection of communities living in the region from Al Shabaab attacks. They also sought help with reconciliation efforts among the warring clans.
The meeting discussed progress made in areas that are experiencing relative peace such as Qoryoley and Barawe but also focused on areas experiencing intermittent security breakdown such as Marka and Afgooye.
Both AMISOM and the ISWA delegation were in agreement that the situation in the Lower Shabelle region was of great concern. The ISWA Minister of Interior stressed the importance of troop integration, composition and formation of a strong Somali National Army and Somali Police Force.
“ISWA has done a lot for the community in the short time it has existed. AMISOM has also been supporting the ISWA community programs all along. We work with AMISOM Sector 1 and Sector 3. AMISOM Sector 3 has partnered with us and done a lot for South West State, for example training of troops as well as carrying out security operations. In Lower Shebelle AMISOM has equally done a great job but we didn’t get the same opportunity in Bay and Bakool regions due the pressure from the enemy. We are requesting for recruitment of troops from the local communities. We also ask that areas still under the control of Al Shabaab be liberated,” he stated.
On his part, Governor Aden Ali pleaded for more support from AMISOM and the international community in addressing security challenges in the middle Shabelle region.
“We need a lot of support, advice and partnerships because ISWA is a new administration which is just over a year old. We are also working in a region with multifaceted challenges; for instance my administration was named 3 months ago. We need advice, collaboration and close working relationship with both the community and AMISOM. As the leaders, we are the link between the community and AMISOM and we want to forge a closer relationship between the two. We have requested for training of local police in every district to enhance security,” he said.
Elder Sultan Aliyow Warsame Ibrow suggested a fact-finding mission to unearth the causes of the clan conflicts in the region. “The need for a fact finding mission to find the root cause of the clan disputes in Marka is important. It is only then that real reconciliation can take place,” stressed the elder.