President Museveni has told countries contributing troops to the peace keeping mission in Somalia that they are not United Nations (UN) employees but allies offering pan-Africanism services.
The President made the remarks at a meeting of African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) troop contributing countries in New York, US on Thursday. He emphasised that the troops’ role in Somalia is purely for pan-African reasons like stabilising Somalia.
“This is a pan-African venture. We are not employees of the United Nations or Somalia,” Mr Museveni was quoted as saying in a State House statement released yesterday.
Mr Museveni, who chaired the closed-door meeting, called for review of the situation in Somalia purposely to improve the political and military coordination to ensure that peace and security prevail in Somalia.
The meeting was attended by, among other countries, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and host Somalia.
According to sources, top priority for Somalia is building a strong national army and taking stock of the political situation.
All parties agreed to follow keenly a review on Amisom by the UN Secretary General and after all the troop contributing countries would take the necessary steps.
The UN provides logistics, technical and training support to Amisom and to the Somali National Army. The UN believes that with enhanced support to Amisom, the African Union Force and predictable funding, along with a coordinated effort to build the Somali National Army and police Forces, al-Shabaab can be defeated.
During the meeting, Uganda was elected as the official spokesperson of the troop contributing countries.
The meeting was attended by Somalia Hassan prime minister Ali Khare, Ethiopia premier Desalegn Hailemariam, Kenya foreign affairs minister Amina Muhammed, African Union Commissioner Chergui Ismael, Burundi foreign affairs minister Allen Nyamitwe, Djibouti foreign affairs minister Yusuf Mahmoud and Somalia defence minister Abdullahi Rachid.
Uganda was represented by Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa, Chief of Defence Forces David Muhoozi, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the UN Adoniya Ayebare and Uganda’s Military Adviser at the Uganda Mission in New York, Maj Gen Silver Kayemba, among others.
Meeting the UN chief
Security issues. In a related development, President Museveni also met the UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the sidelines of the ongoing 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, US. The President briefed the UN chief on the political and security situation in South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi and in the region.