Somalia strongly supports Ethiopia’s desire to join AMISOM: Ambassador

Addis Ababa, 17 December 2013 (WIC) – Ambassador of Somalia to Ethiopia, Permanent Representative to AU and IGAD, Ahmed Abdisalam Aden, said his country strongly supports Ethiopia’s desire to join the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

In an exclusive interview with WIC today, he said Ethiopia’s decision to join AMISOM is welcomed greatly by the people and government of Somali as the Ethiopian forces will strengthen the capacity of the regional peacekeeping mission. “Ethiopian forces are familiar with the culture, people and situation of Somalia than any other countries so we expect them to play more effective role in building the ongoing peace process in Somalia,” he said.

The union of Ethiopian forces with AMISON will help achieve the peace process meant to bring long-lasting peace for the people of Somalia within a few months. Al-Shabab militants were divided into pieces and abandoned many parts of Somalia as a result of the joint attack by the Ethiopian and Somalia forces.

The only thing the terrorist group can do now is to conduct hit and run tactics or commit suicide attack, he said. Somalia is peaceful and better now thanks to the constructive help coming from Ethiopia. Somalia’s reconstruction process is going well. Somali Diasporas are returning to invest in the country, he noted. As far as the relations between the two countries are concerned, he said the two nations have been enjoying robust all-rounded ties.

“Both countries have good people to people and government to government relations. We are moving towards economic integration, which will contribute a lot in stabilizing Somalia and the region.” Ethiopia plays very positive and constructive role directly and through IGAD in Somalia rebuilding process, he said, praising the efforts of Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom for his irreplaceable role in the efforts to create economic integration among IGAD member states.

Regarding Eritrea’s alleged support for al-Shabaab, he said the government of Somalia has well recorded evidence that show the Eritrean government’s continued support for the Islamist militant groups. “The only country that did not recognize the TGF, national reconciliation process and rebuilding activities in Somalia is Eritrea so it is very easy to understand the regime is still playing its destabilizing strategy in that country and in the region,” he said.

Eritrea is playing destructive role in the region, thereby hindering the regional economic integration process, he said, calling on all concerned bodies to take the necessary measures against the regime in Asmara. According to him, the sanction put on Eritrea by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has played significantly role in weakening Eritrea, which in turn has also weakened al-Shabab.

The assistance from the AU, IGAD, EU, USA and Ethiopia is also helping Somalia to have peaceful environment, however, more is expected from the international community to take part in the rebuilding process of Somalia, he added.