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Time to end the tragedy in Somalia

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President Yoweri Museveni has called upon the international community to take decisive action to end the Somalia tragedy in the Great Horn of Africa, adding that Somalia is now a threat to the economies of Eastern Africa and the world. The President made the impassioned call in his remembrance statement on the eve of the July 11 al-Shabab twin bombings in Kampala that left 76 people dead and hundreds of others injured. “As we remember our citizens who lost their lives at the hands of terrorist bombs planted in Kampala, on 11th July, 2011, I send my deepest condolences to their families.

 

I want their families to know that we will never forget this tragic day. We will always mourn for the youth and vigour destroyed by senseless terrorists,” he said, adding, “At the same time, I want to appeal to our Somali brothers and sisters to help us so that we help them. We do not have any other interest in Somalia except ideological reasons of Pan-Africanism. We want Africa to be free of all foreign interference; including by these idiots called extremists. Those who died here in Kampala, where there was no war frontline, paid the ultimate price for our country’s commitment to Pan-Africanism.

 

I salute each and every one of them”. The President said the situation in Somalia has now evolved into a real problem for the whole Eastern Africa and even the world. “Somalia is the exporter of terrorism in the whole area. The pirates have made shipping to this region very expensive since ships must make huge diversions in vain attempts to avoid the pirates. Therefore, Somalia is now a threat to the economies of Eastern Africa,” he said.

 

Regarding the current situation of the African Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia, (AMISOM), the President said the operations of AMISOM are going on well although there is need for international support to AMISOM in the area of air and maritime operations capabilities, especially helicopters for transport and for combat operations. “I do not believe in conserving problems. This Somali problem appears to be a conservation project because of the one dimensional involvement: just involvement by the land forces. Why can we not increase the dimension? Why don’t we use the air? What is the air for? Such a serious problem and we just go on playing with it? On 11th July, the Al- shabab came and killed 76 of our people here, who were watching football. They planted bombs. They have been trying to plant bombs all over the place in East Africa.

 

So why does the international community preserve this? We are ready to solve this problem decisively,” he said. Ugandans tomorrow July 11, will mark the first anniversary of the al-shabab twin bombings in Kampala.