AMISOM SAYS 80% OF SOMALIA’S CAPITAL, MOGADISHU UNDER CONTROL
By Paul Ndiho
July 1, 2011
The African Union Mission in Somalia, or AMISON, says that most of the population in the country’s capital is returning to normalcy. AMISON is encouraging Somalis living in the areas controlled by militants to join the government side.
The African Union Mission in Somalia says it’s making some progress in stabilizing the security situation in Mogadishu, but a lot more needs to be done in the fight against al-Shabaab. Aid agencies in Somalia are also concerned with Somalis displaced due to drought, which only adds to the nation’s ongoing humanitarian crisis.
An AMISOM spokesman says that there has been a lot of change in the Somali capital and people there can now go on with their business without fear.
“We are now talking of over 80 percent of the population in Mogadishu in AMISOM controlled areas. I think it’s an indicator of returning normalcy, people are going about their businesses in AMISOM controlled areas and we encourage the population that is still in the areas under the Al-Shabbab to come over to the government side.”
Mr. Ankunda adds that Somalis are becoming aware that there is better security in the areas controlled by AMISOM.
“Change is coming. What we need now is for the people themselves to rise up completely against the insurgents, and tell them that enough is enough, that they would want to live in peace and go about their normal lives uninterrupted. This is the time.”
Mogadishu’s Mayor Mahamud Ahmed is calling on all Somalis abroad to come and invest in their country.
“Any Somali that wants to build a factory, or a hospital, or anything that creates more than 500 jobs, I am ready to give them land, freely, to build it. So, this is the chance before they become too late, come and invest in your country.”
Aid agencies have voiced their concerns over the tens of thousands of Somalis displaced by drought and conflict.
A Red Cross delegate says that after two seasons without rain, Somalia is entering its worst drought in recent years, and aid agencies are unable to feed the majority of people in need.
“The worst situation that you could face is exactly the situation they are facing this year: is that the drought is happening in the same time all around the country, so that prevents people to move from one place to another safe place. They really have to make long journeys to find a safer place.”
The African Union Mission in Somalia is striving to help Somalia restore peace and stability after decades of lawlessness and factional warfare. Political divisions between Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government and the interim Parliament have further hampered the country’s peace process.