AU to hold meetings on Somalia and Madagascar: official


The spokesperson for the African Union (AU) says the continental body will soon hold special meetings to address the political and security instabilities in both Somalia and Madagascar.

El-Gassim Wane said the AU will evaluate how best to help ensure a return to peace and stability in Somalia.
“We will be organizing on the 17th of this month a meeting on Somalia that brings together the troop contributing countries to review the situation in Somalia. And agree on how best the Au and its member states should continue to assist the process of promoting peace justice and reconciliation in Somalia,” he said.

President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed’s government has been battling hard line Somali insurgent groups, including al-Shabab which has vowed to overthrow the administration.

Wane said the meeting will also focus on additional troops to help its peacekeeping efforts in Somalia.
“The meeting is intended to review the operations of the mission on the ground and how best we could speed up the presence of additional troops so that the mission can reach its authorized strength. (And) how best also we can support capacity building for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia,” Wane said.

The African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia also known as AMISOM is mandated to support the transitional governmental structures, implement a national security plan, train the Somali security forces, and assist in creating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Wane said the continental body is pleased with AMISOM’s work.
“I think the mission is doing a great job under very difficult circumstances. As you know we have 5300 troops on the ground out of an authorized strength of about 800.

The mission is doing an excellent job on the ground not only in providing protection for the TFG, but also in trying to promote confidence building and proving humanitarian assistance,” Wane said.

Meanwhile, in Madagascar, Vice Prime Minister Ny Hasina Andriamanjato recently offered his resignation a move analysts say is a sign of escalating tensions within the government over how to end the ongoing political crisis.

Wane said the continental body wants a quick return to democracy in Madagascar.
“The Au has been involved in efforts to restore constitutional order in that country.

We were hopeful that the Maputo Agreement of August last year and the Addis Ababa Act of November 2009 will pave the way for the speedy restoration of constitutional order in that country,” Wane said.

Pic: President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar