Prime Minister meets with Ethiopian Prime Minister to discuss ongoing operations against Al-Shabaab


His Excellency Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed today held a side meeting during the IGAD Drought Resilience Summit with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, to discuss ongoing operations against Al-Shabaab, the political process in Baidoa and regional infrastructure development.

The Prime Minister conveyed his thanks to Ethiopia for their ongoing support, commitment and sacrifice to the AMISOM mission in Somalia. Whilst the Ethiopian Prime Minister congratulated the Prime Minister and praised the bravery of the Somalia National Army in their successes in liberating ten key towns from the hands of Al-Shabaab.

The Prime Ministers discussed yesterday’s liberation of El-Bur town and the Federal Government of Somalia’s stabilisation efforts across liberated regions. The pair discussed the role Ethiopian engineers from AMISOM are playing in rebuilding local infrastructure following Al-Shabaabs targeted destruction of water points, power stations and other key infrastructure. Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, said: “Operations across Somalia against Al-Shabaab continue with great speed and success, thanks to the bravery and commitment of the Somali National Army and our AMISOM brothers.

“The liberating forces are being welcomed with open arms by the local people and we must quickly restore peace and order to these regions. Al-Shabaab have left a trail of destruction as they have fled and we must now stabilise and rebuild these towns with utmost urgency.

“All those that put down their weapons and renounce violence will be given the opportunity to re-integrate into the community and reengage productively in the rebuilding of our nation.”

The Prime Minister briefed his Ethiopian counterpart on the political and reconciliation engagements efforts ongoing in Baidoa to promote a unified process for the formation of the regional administration. The Federal Government of Somalia has invited the political and traditional elders to Mogadishu for a pre-consultation meeting aimed at taking this reconciliation and political process forward.

Discussing the role regional infrastructure development projects could have for economic growth and security across the region, the Prime Minister, said: “Improvement of and investment in infrastructure within the region would greatly improve the connectivity, economy and the lives of people and communities across the region.

“Ethiopia has already started the construction of a hydro energy power grid that could in future bring power to Somalia and I look forward to continuing to take discussions on this forward. This is an example of the type of project and investment that our region should be working together on to develop and implement.”