IGAD Heads of State have pledged renewed commitment to support war torn Somalia.
In a communiqué released at the end of the one-day summit, held in Mogadishu IGAD Heads of State and governments welcomed the Somali government’s commitment to a credible and inclusive electoral process.
“(We) encouraged all Somalis to participate in the 2016 electoral process and hope that free and fair elections are conducted within the timelines,” the communique stated
The high-profile meeting was represented by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister H.E Hailemariam Desalegn, who is also the chairperson of the IGAD Assembly, Kenya’s President H.E Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, Uganda’s President H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Djibouti, H.E Mohamed Yousif Abdelmannan and Sudan’s ambassador to Somalia H.E Mahboub Mohamed Maalim.
The IGAD heads requested the African Union Mission in Somalia to provide “all necessary security” for the electoral process, which will culminate in a presidential vote on 30th October 2016.
The summit also condemned continued attacks against the civilian population by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab and urged Somali security forces and AMISOM, to expand their operations, to enable them deal with the group’s “evolving terror threats”.
In a statement issued earlier, the AU Special Representative for Somalia and Head of AMISOM Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira said the presence of the Heads of State in Somalia is a clear dividend of returning stability in the country.
“It is an endorsement of Somalia’s recovery and a testimony of the resolve of the Somali people to imbibe a culture that promotes peace instead of conflict. As AMISOM, we will continue to work hand in hand with the Somali security forces to sustain the prevailing peace,” Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira said, in a statement.
Story By Catherine Ageno