The Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia and head of the AU in Somalia Ambassador Maman Sidikou has appealed to Somalis in the diaspora to be the champions of the change and growth the country needs.
He made the call during a diaspora engagement meeting in the Hague, Netherlands, that was held on the heels of a meeting with the EU Political and Military Committee composed of the ambassadors of all the EU member states held in Brussels.
The SRCC also held bilateral meetings with senior officials of the European Commission.
While in Brussels, the SRCC briefed the Committee on the prevailing situation in Somali, the activities of AMISOM, highlighting the achievements of AMISOM and SNA joint operations as well as current operations that continue to weaken the Al Shabaab.
Amb. Sidikou noted that Somalia remains on the right path towards the attainment of the Vision 2016 agenda but still faces challenges including the need to strengthen the Somali National Army (SNA), the form and shape of elections in 2016 and stabilization of the areas recovered from Al Shabaab that require the international community’s continued attention.
On AMISOM, the SRCC underlined the need for the forthcoming joint AU-UN benchmarking to facilitate the reconfiguration of AMISOM, with a view to strengthening it including through the deployment of specialist units, additional formed police units, and deployment of civilian personnel in the sectors.
The SRCC also held bilateral meetings with a number of officials including:
Stephano Manservisi, Chef de Cabinet of the High Representative/ Vice President of the EU, M. Popowski, Deputy Secretary General, European External Action Service, Nicholas Westcott, Managing Director Africa, European External Action Service and Koen Doens, Director East and Southern Africa and ACP Coordination, Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development, among others.
The Ambassador then moved on to the Hague, where he met members of the Somali diaspora from within and neighboring cities.
During the engagement, he appealed to them to be more involved in the reconstruction of Somalia, especially in support of rebuilding national institutions key to the stability of the country.
“One of the aims of AMISOM, the African Union and our partners is to help the government of Somalia get the Somali National Army and security forces formed, standing and taking off.
“Ultimately, this is what must be done,” he said, adding that the strength of security institutions is key to enabling the government to defend its sovereignty.
Amb. Sidikou urged the Somali diaspora to support the Federal Government not only with resources but ideas and the human resource capital, necessary to propel it forward.
“I have no doubt that Somalia soon will be one of the most vibrant members of the East African Community and other communities around, because the resources are there, especially the human resources and the hearts.
Because only hearts allow people to survive what Somalia has gone through and continue as resilient as Somalis are today,” he said.