SRSG Keating joins high level government delegation on a visit to the port city of Barawe

15 Nov 2017

SRSG Keating joins high level government delegation on a visit to the port city of Barawe

Barawe - The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating joined a high-level Federal Government of Somalia delegation on a security assessment visit to Barawe, a strategic port city situated in the Lower Shabelle region.

The delegation, led by the Somali Prime Minister H.E Hassan Ali Khaire, who met with elders and members of the public, discussed the possibility of handing over the security of Barawe, currently under the protection of African Union troops, to the Somali security forces.

Under the planned drawdown, the African Union troops will relinquish the security of key towns, to the Somali forces, to allow them take the lead responsibility.

“This is consistent with the National Security Architecture, with the National Defence Strategy as well as with the conditions-based transition plan whereby over a number of years, Somalis assume a lead role,” the Special Representative explained.

Mr. Keating emphasized that while AMISOM’s presence in Somalia was still critical, the Somali security forces must be strengthened, to enable the country take charge of its own security responsibilities.

“We know that you are ready to fight the enemy and we are here in solidarity with you,” Prime Minister Khaire assured Barawe residents.

He urged them to rally their efforts towards ensuring security of the town.

The delegation consisted of the President of the South West State H.E Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, the European Union Ambassador to Somalia Veronique Lorenzo, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, the Deputy Ambassador of Uganda to Somalia Major General Nathan Mugisha, officials from the United Nations, AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia.