The United Nations and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) held a joint meeting on Saturday to discuss a comprehensive approach to improving security in Somalia.
The meeting drew participants from key federal ministries, member states and international partners, as the government has launched a major offensive against Al-Shabaab militants in southern region.
Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating, said terrorist groups remained the main threat to peace and stability in Somalia.
“The core issue before us is how we can continue to stabilize Somalia and preserve the many gains that have been made,” Keating was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the U.N. Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
He stressed the need to protect the political space so that the Somalis can continue constructing the state, building peace and resolving various challenges on social economy, politics, constitutional review, job creation and service delivery.
“There is a need to develop a strategy led by the government in conjunction with the AU, securing populations’ centers, main supply routes, joint operations and a plan for strengthening Somali security forces’ capability,” he added.
Francisco Madeira, special representative of the African Union Chairperson for Somalia, emphasized concerted efforts to address the security challenges, appealing for enhanced information sharing and intelligence capabilities on the terrorists.
“Once we know the enemy, once we know our capabilities, we know what needs to be done. And once we know what needs to be done, we need resources. We need to sit down together and see how we mobilize these resources,” Madeira said.
Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire noted that a comprehensive approach in dealing with Somalia’s security situation is critical, as the government readies itself to completely neutralize the militants in order to restore peace and order in the country.
“Maintaining security is not just about offensive action. We remain cognizant that we require a comprehensive approach that has been well articulated by our president, who is keen on engaging our population in good governance, fighting corruption, reconciliation and healing the wounds of the past,” Khaire said.