By Godfrey Olukya 11-4-2013
Somali’s Prime Minister Abdi Farah has hailed Uganda’s role in redeeming Somalia saying he personally had to come and thank the people of Uganda for offering their sons and daughters to the region to ensure peace and stability.
In response, Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni has pledged to work with the international community to train and equip the Somali army.
“The pillar of the army is officers. We really must train officers and if there is any way we can support you, we are happy to do that. We need to get well educated officers and non commissioned officers with the right ideology and organize and support them to take control of the security of their country,” Museveni said.
President Yoweri Museveni said this last evening while meeting the Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon who is on a two day official visit to Uganda.
Prime Minister Abdi Farah said his country is committed to ensuring a new vision and a new chapter in Somalia and called on Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to support and advise his country on sustaining the security situation through building a strong army.
‘Am happy to have the opportunity to personally say thank you for everything you have done for Somalia. Uganda is the only country where we come without a visa. We thank you for your unwavering support, ‘he said.
The PM briefed President Museveni that since his election, he has been making ‘Listening and Learning’ tours to the central and southern regions of Somalia and encouraging the grassroots people to elect local leaders.
The Prime Minster said his government would like to see Uganda taking an active role in capacity building and helping in the process of reforming security institutions in Somalia.
PM Abdi Farah’s two day official visit to Uganda is part of a series of official visits in the region including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi and Kenya. The Prime Minister said that the new Somalia highly regarded the strong and healthy relationship it had with its neighbours and the time had come to thank and congratulate AMISOM and IGAD member states on their efforts to stabilize their county.
The PM who is accompanied by the Minister of Defence, Abdihakin Haji Mohamud Fiqi, Somali’s ambassador to Uganda Sayid Ahmed and several advisors urged President Museveni drum support for Somalia to train, equip and build a professional army through AMISOM.
The trip by the Somali Prime Minister is set to boost relations with East African countries which have contributed troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Uganda has over 6,000 troops serving under AMISOM alongside other troops and Police officers from Burundi, Kenya, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.