Former Somali senior military officials to meet in US

Former Somali military

Halkaan ka akhri

NAIROBI, 3 June 2009 — Former Somali senior military officials will convene in United States later this week for a meeting organized by the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) under the auspices of the Somali Ministry of Defence.

    A statement from the Nairobi-based UNPOS said the June 4 to 5 meeting in Washington will serve as a preparatory forum that will solicit support and participation from prominent Somali military leaders with follow-up meetings expected to be held in late July.

    “We are expecting this to be the first of several fruitful meetings,” UN Special Representative for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said.

    “The senior military officials that will participate in this meeting are respected for their past professional experience during a period in Somalia’s history when it was called upon to help train soldiers from other African nations.”

    The UN envoy said in keeping with the Djibouti Agreement and the government’s commitment to build up security institutions, the meeting will look at the structures of Somalia’s military before the collapse of the state and the best ways to address the current and future security needs.

    During the meeting, the participants will discuss best practices and the way forward for security sector development.

    “This is a great opportunity for Somalis to find within their past some solutions to their future,” Ould-Abdallah said.

    The Horn of Africa nation has been wracked by intense fighting which has displaced more than 70,000 people out of the bullet-riddled Mogadishu.

    But Somalia’s new administration says it will continue with its national stabilization plan despite intensified attacks by hard-line Islamic insurgents, including Al-Shabaab.

    This comes after government forces drove out insurgents from two districts of the capital, Mogadishu, Tuesday during a day of heavy fighting.

    Insurgents have been controlling some sections of the capital, but the new administration says it is determined to take back those areas.

Sourse Xinhua

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