The African Union Mission in Somalia
(AMISOM) commander has called on troops from the pan African body to cooperate with Somalia National Army (SNA) to sustain fight against Al-Shabaab in the Horn of Africa nation.
AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Osman Soubagleh told top army chiefs from AMISOM and SNA to enhance their collaboration as part of wider plans to revitalize the fight against the Al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabaab militants.
“As we develop and implement our concepts for 2016 and 2017, we must work jointly with the Somali National Army,” Soubagleh said in a statement released by AMISOM in Mogadishu.
“If we do not assist in developing the SNA, if we do not work together and defeat Al-Shabaab, and if we do not effectively handover security of Somalia to Somali security forces, then we will have failed in achieving our mandate,” he cautioned.
The AMISOM force commander, who was at charting the way forward in securing Somalia, reiterated that enhancement of cooperation between the two forces was in line with the UN Security Council Resolution and a recent directive by the top AU envoy in Somalia, Francisco Madeira.
Soubagleh stressed the need to tackle vices such as illegal checkpoints, illicit taxation, the use of child soldiers and sexual exploitation and abuse.
The meeting also reviewed the recent Concept of Operations (CONOPS), discussed the Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) and received updates from the SNA commanders from the regional states.
SNA Chief of Defence Forces, Maj. Gen. Mohamed Aden Ahmed reiterated the need for greater cooperation, citing what needs to be done to transform the SNA into a robust army, capable of executing its mandate.
“I request that all of us the Somali National Army, AMISOM and the donor countries work together in order to fulfill the mission ahead. I assure you that, if we do work together we will succeed,” Ahmed said.