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Recent developments offer unique opportunity to consolidate security in Somalia: AU

(Xinhua)

12:47, November 21, 2011

ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union said the recent developments in Somalia, in particular the forced withdrawal of Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu and the operation being undertaken by Kenya, offer a unique opportunity to consolidate security across Somalia.

According to a statement the Council sent to media on Sunday, the developments also enable to sustain efforts at enhancing the implementation of the Political Roadmap, agreed to by the Somali stakeholders in Mogadishu, in early September, as a follow-up to the Kampala Accord of June 2011.

The Council at its 298th meeting held on Nov. 17, was briefed on the situation in Somalia by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, the representatives of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia and also Ethiopia, as the Chair of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), as well as by the League of Arab States and the United Nations.

The Council commended the TFG forces and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for their courage and dedication, and paid a well deserved tribute to all the peacekeepers, who lost their lives and those wounded in accomplishing their duty.

The statement said the Council reiterated its appreciation to the governments and people of Burundi and Uganda for their commitment to the cause of peace and reconciliation in Somalia and the sacrifices made to that end.

It welcomed the impending deployment of a Djiboutian battalion and also reiterated its appreciation to all the Member States contributing personnel to the AMISOM police component.

The Council reiterated its call on the United Nations, to enhance its support to AMISOM and equally stressed the importance of adequate international support to the TFG forces to enable them to assume primary responsibility for the security of the country, according to the statement.

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