Foreign envoys laud integration of moderate Islamic group into the Somali army

Foreign envoys on Monday lauded the ongoing process to integrate forces of moderate Islamic group Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a (ASWJ) into Somali security forces.

The envoys from the African Union, the European Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the UN who visited Galmudug State expressed their support for the integration exercise and also the ongoing political dialogue and reconciliation.

“The delegation is grateful to Somali Prime Minister Hassan Khaire for the invitation to attend this informative briefing, to see first-hand the situation in Dhusamareb, and to meet with people and leaders from Galmudug to understand better their needs and expectations,” the envoys said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.

The envoys who visited Dhusamareb town, the capital of Galmudug State also attended a ceremony marking initial steps in the integration of some local security forces into the Somali National Army (SNA).

The envoys encouraged continued broad-based consultations aimed at convening a credible reconciliation forum in the near future.

“It is through such a forum that consensus may be reached on a credible, transparent and fair process to select leaders of the Federal Member State and establish a unified administration that enjoys the support of citizens from throughout Galmudug,” they said.

Somali government on July 4 launched the exercise to integrate ASWJ into Somali security forces in Dhusamareb.

The ASWJ militants, who are opposed to the Al-Shabaab militant group but sympathetic to Somalis central government, will be integrated into the security agencies that include the army, police, intelligence service, and custodial corps.

In December 2017, ASWJ signed a power-sharing agreement with the state administration.



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