Somalia marks the 55th Africa Day

Mogadishu(SONNA)-The African Union has paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the Organization of African Unity, the precursor of the African Union.

In Somalia, the day was marked in the capital Mogadishu yesterday, where the chief guest, the Secretary of the Federal Parliament’s Defence Committee, Mr. Sadiq Hirsi Warfa reiterated Somalia’s commitment to fighting corruption, in response to the continental body’s efforts to rid the continent of the vice. The African Union Assembly declared 2018 as the ‘African Anti-Corruption Year’ under the theme – “Winning the fight against corruption: A sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”.

“Somalia is putting in place a mechanism to fight corruption”, Warfa said adding, “we are really in the process of debt relief and Somalia can once again re-establish its currency because we believe that corruption is the root cause of all the problems”.

The AU Deputy Special Representative for Somalia Mr. Simon Mulongo read the African Union Commission Chairperson H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat’s speech, in which he enumerates achievements made by the African Union in improving the quality of life in member countries. In his speech, Mahamat cautions against pervasive corruption and challenges African leaders to demonstrate deliberate action against the vice.

“Corruption destroys lives of ordinary people and undermines their trust in their leaders and public institutions. Resources that are needed for development and delivery of services such as electricity, education, healthcare, sanitation, clean water are diverted by few thus depriving the majority of people from access to these critical services”, said the AU Commission Chairperson.

Mr. Mulongo stated that AMISOM had already started transitioning the security responsibility to the Somali security forces, adding that the AU Mission was currently preparing Somalis to take up the security responsibilities. “We are in advanced stages of crafting an implementation plan and this implementation plan is going to ensure that we not only hand over the responsibilities but we prepare and make ready those security institutions and individuals to be able to effectively and efficiently undertake those responsibilities that are currently handled and managed by AMISOM”, Mulongo remarked.

The Kenyan ambassador to Somalia, Maj-Gen (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo speaking on behalf of Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to AMISOM, expressed the commitment of the TCCs to restore full stability to Somalia.

“Kenya aspires to see a peaceful, stable and prosperous Somalia. Kenya has therefore been steadfast in supporting efforts towards this end since the year 2004 and will continue to do so together with other TCCs and countries of goodwill”, he said.

Also present at the celebrations, was the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia and UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator, Peter de Clercq, who paid tribute to AMISOM for the work the Mission has accomplished in Somalia.

“We have come a long way in Somalia and we owe it to those that have given their lives in their ultimate efforts to bring us to where we are today to ensure that AMISOM continues to receive the support for the successful completion of this Mission to help Somalia towards peace, stability and prosperity”, de Clercq said.

AU Day is marked annually, to commemorate the creation of the Organization of African Unity – the precursor of the African Union, 55 years ago.

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