Nairobi(AGGM) Regional leaders meeting in Kampala Sunday resolved to hand over the control of the controversial Kismayu sea and airport to the Federal Republic of Somalia.In a joint communiqué issued Sunday evening, the resolution follows a long running dispute for the facility between the government of Somalia and the Kenya forces. The leaders also banned Somalia from exporting charcoal to Asia with immediate effect.
Before the beginning of the second phase of the war against al shabaab, Somalia was divided into four sectors.Sector one, which includes Middle Shebelle, Lower Shebelle, and Banadir (with the capital of Mogadishu), is under Uganda.
Sector two is under Kenya and it comprises of Middle and Lower Jubba with Kismayu as its capital. Sector three is under Burundians while sector four is for Djiboutian forces.The Kampala meeting was attended by presidents: Museveni, (the host) Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Somalia’s Sheik Hassan Sheik Mahmood, (Ethiopian PM) Hailemariam Desalegn and Andrew Bagali who represented Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, African Union mission in Somalia wants the number of peacekeepers increased from 17,730 to over 20,000 to beef up troop presence in different parts of the country.Uganda’s Foreign Affairs minister, Sam Kutesa told Journalists in Munyonyo on Saturday that the current African Union force is over stretched and thin on ground.
The creation of zonal forces, Mr Kutesa said would exert pressure on al shabaab fighters who resorted to asymmetrical war after losing most of their main tactical and strategic bases in Somalia to AU forces.“The force is smaller and over stretched because the area under AMISOM control has been enlarging. The lack of enablers, force multipliers and resourcing constraints threatens the long-term success. This situation requires a deeper assessment by us all,” he said
Uganda, which was the first country to deploy troops in Somalia in 2007, has the highest number of troops. Other countries include Kenya, Djibouti, Sierra Leon and Burundi. The Presidents of countries contributing troops held a meeting chaired by President Museveni and discussed the mission and need to have force multipliers like helicopters.But sources that attended the meeting told Daily Monitor the Somali delegation was accusing Kenyan forces operating in Kisimayu of meddling in the Somalia’s political affairs and handpicking local leaders in the south of Somalia.
The Somali Deputy Prime minister, Fowzio Aden reportedly told the meeting that the Kenya’s meddling into the affairs of running the town of Kisamayu had caused clashes between the rival groups. But Mr Kutesa denied the issue had been discussed. “AMISOM is doing well and there are no such allegations,” he said.
Isha Ku Hay Allgalgaduud