By Oleen Ndori
THE African Union Peace and Security Council has re-affirmed its support to finding ways of fostering peace and security in Somalia.
While addressing a virtual meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council this Wednesday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Fredrick Shava congratulated the people of Somalia for holding peaceful elections.
He, however, bemoaned the negative impact of the macro-political environment on the drive to achieve peace in Somalia.
“The evolving socio-economic and political situation in Somalia cannot be divorced from the gloomy security outlook on our continent characterized by terrorism, the war in Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic, impact of the climate change and persisting humanitarian crises. The least we can do for now is to congratulate the Government and people of Somalia for sustaining peace and security under the current circumstances.
“There is evidence that the capacity of Al Shabaab has been degraded, and that tangible steps are being taken towards peace and reconciliation and the security of Somalis is generally improving. The implementation of the Somalia Transitional Plan (STP) is indeed bearing fruit,” he said.
He further called on the continental body to prioritise a funding mechanism for the African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
“While we applaud efforts undertaken by the African Union Commission (AUC) to secure funding from partners, it is critical that we seize every opportunity to ensure that ATMIS is urgently and adequately financed. It should be our priority to ensure that the Somalia Armed Forces (SAF) acquires the capacity to take over its national defence and security responsibilities.
“Once the Somalis take charge of their security, a conducive environment will be created to solve the other challenges confronting the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, the outgoing Turkish Ambassador to Zimbabwe His Excellency Mr Hakan Kivanc has paid a courtesy call on Minister Shava where the two discussed the successes of his mission and Turkey – Zimbabwe relations.
“We had a fruitful discussion on my mission here in Zimbabwe and the cordial relations that exist between the two countries,” said Ambassador Kivanc.
Zimbabwe and Turkey share deep bilateral relations that have in the past 40 years seen exchange of ideas in the fields of trade, investment and tourism.