By SIMON MUNTEMBA in Mogadishu
ZAMBIA’ S significant contribution towards promoting peace and stability in Africa is commendable, the African Union has said.
Special representative of the chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) Ambassador Francisco Madeira praised Zambia police officers for their exemplary leadership qualities and professionalism towards the establishment of peace and stability in Somalia.
Speaking to Journalists in Mogadishu yesterday, Mr Madeira said the AU was graceful to the Zambian government for its continued contribution towards promoting peace in Africa.
He said the significant role the Zambian government has continued to play in supporting efforts to restore peace and stability in Africa by sending peacekeepers in war-torn countries like Somalia deserves commendation.
“The police officers from Zambia play a significant role as you have seen during your visit.
“They are helping to build the capacity of the Somali police force by mentoring and supporting their efforts to restore the rule of law and order, the African Union is graceful to countries such as Zambia,.
“Really, we are very happy with them. We are happy with the way they transmit their experience and professionalism to the Somali police force,” Mr Madeira said.
And Mr Madeira said AMISOM which had been in Somalia for 11 years had made extensive achievements despite the many challenges it faced.
He explained that the establishment of AMISOM in Somalia has created an increasingly more secure environment, enabling significant progress in the political development of that country.
“Today, Somalia has a national constitution, an elected Parliament, President and federal states, all with fully functional leadership and legislative bodies,” he said.
He said the 2016 election conducted across regional states in Somalia under the supervision of AMISOM for Members of Parliament was historic because for the first time in over two decades, a section of the general population including youths and women participated in choosing their leaders without major incidents of chaos.
He also said that AMISOM working jointly with the Somali security agencies had since 2007 managed to capture major towns and ports that were controlled by the deadliest rebel group, Al-Shabaab.
AMISOM had undertaken extensive capacity building for Somali national army and police by way of training and mentoring them, he added.
He said due to such achievements, Somalia had gradually experienced an economic boom as evidenced by the returning of Somalis in the diaspora to set up business.
The 31 male and female Zambia police officers are deployed in Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to provide support in an efforts towards stabilisation of the situation in that country.