Amisom on the spot as AU leaders meet in Ethiopia

Monday January 25 2016

Kenyans lit candles at Freedom Corner,Uhuru Park on January 21, 2016 during a vigil in honour of KDF Soldiers who were killed when Al-Shabaab militia attacked a KDF Camp in Somalia. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL |

Kenyans lit candles at Freedom Corner,Uhuru Park on January 21, 2016 during a vigil in honour of KDF Soldiers who were killed when Al-Shabaab militia attacked a KDF Camp in Somalia. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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The structure of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) is expected to come under sharp focus when the AU discusses a report on peace and security in Africa.

AU heads of state and government converge in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for a summit this Saturday.

The meeting however comes in the wake of repeated terrorist attacks on its mission in Somalia, partly blamed on the insufficiencies and rigid structure of Amisom.

On January 15, KDF in El Adde were ambushed by Al-Shabaab militants. Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe alluded to Amisom lacking “necessary capacity” leading KDF to mobilise its resources in response to the attack.

WIN THE WAR

AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui said in Nairobi on Friday that Al-Shabaab’s “dastardly acts of terror [will] only help to solidify our resolve to win the war against.” 

But this followed two similar attacks on Amisom forces where soldiers from Uganda and Burundi were killed by the same militants.

But as is tradition, a report on such matters prepared by the Peace and Security Council will be tabled before  the AU’s 26th Ordinary Summit.

Meanwhile, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Igad, says it will this year set up a regional centre for sharing counter-violent extremism information to help beat down the threat of terrorism.

Igad executive secretary Mahboub Maalim said the centre will be part of global efforts against radicalisation and will help share strategies on how to discourage people from joining extremist groups.