AU resolves to clear supply routes for easy aid delivery in Somalia

MOGADISHU, July 23 (Xinhua) — The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) senior commanders ended their three-day strategy meeting in Mogadishu late Saturday by resolving to continue to ensure clearance of the main supply routes (MSRs) for easy access of humanitarian activities.

The security meeting which reviewed ongoing operations and discussed an upcoming reorganization of troops pending the commencement of a draw down, noted that the supply routes are crucial for lives of Somalis.

“Clearing the main supply routes is very important as the lives of the Somalis and of AMISOM are at stake,” said Osman Noor Soubagleh, who chaired the meetings.

The meeting attended by commanders of various contingents also discussed recommendations of the recent joint AU-UN review of AMISOM, continued threats posed by widespread use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by militants and critical aspects of troops’ logistics.

A statement issued after the meeting said the work being done by the military to clear and secure Main Supply Routes will enable free movement of humanitarian supplies and people, across south central Somalia, and committed to continue with the clearance explosive devices on the routes.

“If we open the MSRs, this will ensure that the business of the Somalis between the various towns will be active, so I ask you to open the MSRs; this is an obligation,” said Soubagleh.

The Force Commander also emphasized the importance of continued capacity building of the Somali National Security Forces, ahead of the transition from AMISOM.

Aid agencies say the poor state of main supply routes in south-central Somalia had provided conditions for Al-Shabaab to continue laying ambushes and use explosive devices against AMISOM convoys and Somali national security forces.

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