His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud today congratulated the Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM leadership for liberating six towns from Al Shabaab, “the enemies of Islam”.
The President said: “I have personally congratulated SNA and AMISOM leaders for liberating six towns from Al Shabaab in the space of a few days. Make no mistake, the enemy is on the run and running out of places to hide. We must keep pursuing them until they have no bases left in Somalia. Now that we are liberating more and more towns it is absolutely essential that we get food aid and humanitarian assistance into these places immediately.”
The President called on international partners to “step up to the plate” and deliver on promised stabilization assistance. “It’s time to turn plans into action,” the President said. “The communities we have liberated must experience the peace dividend immediately. And local administrations need to start providing basic public services as soon as possible – security, justice, education, healthcare. Failure is not an option.”
The President was speaking on his return from a six-day visit to Japan where he and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed new development assistance worth $40m. Commenting on his latest international engagement, the President said:
“This was a very successful visit to Japan in which we strengthened ties with a key international friend and partner. This will benefit our agriculture and livestock sector, together with fisheries, youth employment and information and communication technology. Japan is serious about standing by Somalia and we welcome a new and growing partnership with such an important international partner.”
The President also sent his condolences to the family of the legendary Somali singer Mohammed Suleiman Tubeec, popularly known as “The King of the Voice”, who was buried with full honours in Mogadishu today.