The African Union (AU) has sharply
condemned Monday's attacks on the residence of Somalia's Prime Minister which
reportedly left at least 13 people dead. Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein was
in the palace when Islamic
insurgents fired mortar rounds on the home in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
None of the people in the place, including the prime minister was hurt in the
attack. Soldiers of the national
army retaliated with heavy artillery fire against the insurgents. Ambassador
Nicholas Bwakira is the African Union special envoy to Somalia. He tells
reporter Peter Clottey that the AU will continue in its quest to ensure peace
and stability returns to Somalia.
attack is nothing more or less than what has happened in the past. Insurgents
have been trying to demonstrate that they are in control of the security
situation in Mogadishu, but they have been repelled each time they have
attacked. And I know that this is their way of just destabilizing Somalia. But
we are determined that the Somali government and the ARS (Alliance for
Re-liberation) are able to demonstrate that they are able to resist the attack and
that the forces of peace are able to hold the situation under control,"
Ambassador Bwakira pointed out.
said the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) would soon receive more
troops to augment its peacekeeping efforts in Somalia.
AU has received assurances from countries such as Nigeria, Burundi and Uganda
that they will add forces. We are expecting three more battalions to join the
AU in the near future. We have no doubt whatsoever that there is a
determination by the African Union to continue the peace mission in Somalia,"
Bwakira reiterated that the African Union is optimistic about maintaining peace
"There should be no doubt
about that in the minds of public opinion, and there is no doubt also among the
Somali peace-loving people that we are determined to continue to maintain
peace. And also I should add that the TFG (Transitional Federal Government) and
the AR, which are the two parties engaged in the peace process, they are also
putting their forces in like in Mogadishu and elsewhere. So, I'm sure that all
those negative forces would be absolutely defeated," Ambassador Bwakira noted.
He said there are high
expectations that Tuesday's meeting in Djibouti between the Somali groups would
soon come up with a solution to bring back an effective government to Somalia.
"My expectations in the next
session of the peace talks are to really put in place a new government of
national unity and a new parliament. You would recall both the Transitional
Federal Government and the opposition have agreed to form an all-inclusive
parliament, as well as government of national unity. We expect that in a few
days to come the parties will elect a new speaker and two new deputy speakers,
as well as a new president," he said.