A visiting UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces Rt. Hon. Mark Lancaster has paid tribute to the AU troops in Somalia for securing the country and reducing the threat of terrorism. The minister yesterday met with the AU Special Representative to Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira and the AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Jim Beesigye Owoyesigire, where they discussed the transitioning of security responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somali security forces, and the nature and volume of UK support to the AU Mission.
“I have just met with Ambassador Madeira and the Force Commander. I want to start by paying tribute to the work of AMISOM over the last eleven years and indeed the sacrifices that have been made, because without doubt, unless the good work of AMISOM over the last eleven years had happened, then Somalia would not be on the course of progress that it is today,” Mr. Lancaster said.
The United Kingdom Mission Support Team (UKMST), under the UK7O project has enhanced capacity building and other support to AMISOM troops and the Somali security forces in Mogadishu and the regions, to boost the war against Al-Shabaab. “We have discussed how potentially we can do more to support the Mission, but equally talking about how we can progress the situation here in Somalia, over the coming months and years,” added the UK minister.