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AMISOM and the Somali government reiterate their commitment to eliminate Al-Shabaab

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Mogadishu, 27 February 2018 – The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali government have pledged to complement each other in the fight against the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.

The announcement comes four days after a twin bomb attack in the capital, Mogadishu, killed at least 50 people and a subsequent shootout, between AMISOM soldiers and the National Intelligence Service Agency (NISA) officers, left one officer dead.

The pledge was made by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, and the Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, Abdi Mohamed Sabriye, at a joint press briefing in Mogadishu today.

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“I wanted, as I’m surrounded by my Force Commander, my Police Commissioner and my colleagues who deal with issues of security and policy, to reaffirm that AMISOM and the Somali national security forces represented by NISA, Somali National Army (SNA) and all other forces by the ministry of defense, ministry of interior and AMISOM are one. All are united in a common purpose (which is) defeating Al-Shabaab,” Ambassador Madeira said.

The SRCC regretted the shootout incident that also left two NISA officers and four civilians injured, after both AMISOM soldiers and Somali national security officers responded to the twin terror attack that took place near Villa Somalia and the intelligence headquarters.

“We are going to investigate and find a solution that does not interfere with our desire, our determination to move together in the common purpose,” Mr. Madeira stated.

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“Together, much as we expressed regret of what has happened, decided that we have to continue in the common purpose, focused and pursue our objective of stabilizing the country,” the SRCC, who was accompanied by Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Jim Owoyesigire, and the Acting Police Commissioner, Christine Alalo, said.

Mr. Sabriye, who also spoke at the press briefing, termed the shootout incident regrettable, noting that it will be fully investigated.

“In fact, that incident happened accidentally. When we came to know about the circumstances of the unplanned issue between the two troops, we agreed as the Somali government and AMISOM to remedy that matter, to investigate it fully and have a decision based on the outcome of the investigations,” the Federal Minister noted.

Mr. Sabriye reiterated Ambassador Madeira remarks, emphasizing that all security forces operating in Somalia had the same goal of defeating Al-Shabaab and must support each other.

“Also most importantly, we agreed that the different troops in Somalia whether NISA, the military, police or AMISOM, all have the same goal of assisting and complementing each other. It’s essential when such incidents occur to discuss it in a calm, responsible way and reach an amicable solution,” the minister added.

Present at the press conference was the Minister of Defense Mohamed Mursal Sheikh and the Director-General of NISA Hussein Osman Hussein.

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