Speaking during a meeting held from the 13-17th august to deliberate progress made by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) and the Islamic Organization of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa (ASWJ), ever since the signing of the agreement in 15th March 2010, the Special Representative of the U.N Secretary General to Somalia, H.E Augustine P. Mahiga commended their combined efforts of trying to restore peace and stability in their country.
He said their collaboration has brought patriotism against insurgency and urged them to continue to work as a team.
Amb. Mahiga also pointed out that there is still little attention being paid to Somalia and called upon the International Community to help this partnership with the required resources needed for them to rid their country of insurgents. “The international community should help this partnership especially now that they have
integrated their forces,” he said.
The meeting which was organized by the IGAD Facilitator for Somalia Peace and National Reconciliation, Hon. Kipruto Arap Kirwa, expressed satisfaction with the
progress of TFG and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamma partnership and pledged to provide the necessary resources that they may require.
Hon. Kirwa pointed out that his office will be sending a team of member states military experts to Mogadishu to work closely with the government and AMISOM on an advisory role in all areas concerning the integration of the forces. In addition, Hon. Kirwa applauded the commitment of TFG and ASWJ for renouncing violence and supporting the Djibouti peace process and for working tirelessly to make TFG more inclusive, by the subsequent appointment of 5 Ministers, one State Minister and Deputy Chief of Defense Staff of TFG from the ASWJ in the recent government changes.
“We as IGAD consider you as one integral leadership unit around which other forces must coalesce, as you galvanize the support of the rest of the population,” he stated.
On the other hand, ASWJ and TFG have vowed to increase their efforts on ridding the country of insurgents. According to the chairman of the Islamic organization of ASWJ, Sheikh Mohamoud Yusuf Heefaw, they have defeated Al-Shabab in a number of encounters they have had and now with the merged efforts with TFG, he has sworn to defeat them once more and liberate the country.
His sentiments were also echoed by the Minister of Defense of the TFG, H.E Abukar Abdi Osman saying by integrating ASWJ forces into TFG, they are optimistic that they will defeat insurgents whose main ambition is to create havoc in the country. He also requested for more assistance from the International Community.
“ Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa, joined the government as part of reconciliation process under taken by the TFG, plans are underway to integrate their forces from other regions as well as in Mogadishu. We have opened discussions with the donor countries such as U.S.A and E.U how to implement this plan and the assistance that we need,” he said.
The meeting was organized by the IGAD office of the Facilitator For Somalia with funds made available by African Union Commission under the European Commission Program of Early Response Mechanism (ERM) and attended by ministers of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, members of the Transitional Parliament, Executive Committee of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamma, Mr.Rodney Kirwa, AUC, peace and security department and other ambassadors.