On Sunday Maj. Gen. Lakara visited Beletweyne, the headquarters of the AMISOM Sector 4, controlled by Djibouti troops, backed by Ethiopian forces, where he was briefed on the overall security situation and progress made in implementing the CONOPs.
“We have had a lengthy discussion to look at what needs to be done, and what needs to be provided, in order to enable the forces to accomplish the assigned tasks,” Gen. Lakara stated.
The CONOPs outlines the activities AMISOM has to implement under the Somali Transition Plan up to 2021, when AMISOM is expected to exit and hand over security responsibility of the country to Somali Security Forces.
At the meeting, Gen. Lakara reminded the military commanders, led by the Sector 4 Commander, Col. Mohamed Ibrahim Moussa; his deputy, Col. Teklebirhan Hailu (Ethiopia) and the Djibouti Contingent Commander, Col. Abdirahman Rayale Hared of the need to adhere to the timelines in accomplishing tasks assigned to them.
Gen. Lakara was accompanied by the Chief Operations Officer, Col. John Patrick Otongo; Maj. Agbidinoukoun Enagnon, the Plans Officer and Maj. Solomon Nchoko.
The Deputy Force Commander noted that while the Somali National Army (SNA) is building up its forces, AMISOM should forge ahead with discharging its mandate.
“The SNA needs to be supported first of all to generate forces and this has been the focus, in line with the Transition Plan, that AMISOM must handover to a capable force, able to defend the country when AMISOM exists,” Gen. Lakara noted.
Gen. Lakara who was also briefed on measures being undertaken to counter the threat of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which terrorists have been using and he appreciated the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) for the critical support in countering the threat of IEDs and urged the officers to be creative in the fight against terrorists.
Gen. Lakara’s visit to Beletweyne, about 340km from Mogadishu comes just days after a similar visit to Jowhar, the headquarters of AMISOM Sector 5, under the control of Burundi forces, and a Forward Operating Base in Gololey, still under Sector 5.