Uganda recalls Shebab attacks, AU urges surrender

Uganda today July 11 marks six years since suspected Al-Shabaab militants carried out two separate attacks on the capital Kampala.

The twin bombings at Kyaddondo Rugby Grounds and the Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kabalagala targeted football fans during the 2010 World Cup Finals.

Over 70 people died while several other were severely injured.

Deputy Media Center Executive Director Col Shaban Bantariza told KFM radio that Uganda wont hold an event remembering the dead since the matter is still in court.

He said that would glorify perpetrators of the heinous acts.

AU urges Al Shabaab to surrender
On the day of the Muslim festival Eid al-fitr, the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, urged Al Shabaab militants to denounce violence and join efforts to rebuild Somalia.

Ambassador Madeira spoke Wednesday while presiding over an awards ceremony for Burundian soldiers who have completed a year’s tour of duty under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

“Al-Shabaab militants who are aware that their organisation does not represent any hope for the future of Somalia should join the people of Somalia and help rebuild the country,” said Ambassador Madeira.

Somalia President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, also called for peace and reconciliation in his Eid al-fitr message to the people of Somalia.

“Eid Mubarak. May your year be full of blessings, peace, justice and development,” President Mohamud said in a statement.

AMISOM has made major gains against the militant insurgent group, who have waged asymmetrical warfare against the current government. Together with the Somali National Army, AMISOM has driven them out of major towns and large swathes of rural areas.

Ambassador Madeira stressed the need for Somalis to address clan rivalries, empower the federal and regional governments to enable them extend administration and services to citizens, and urged parents to dissuade their children from joining Al-Shabaab.

The SRCC said that despite challenges, Burundian troops in the areas under their control, had succeeded in destroying Al-Shabaab fighters, liberated areas, secured towns and main supply routes.

During the ceremony, which was held at the Burundian AMISOM base in Mogadishu, the officers received certificates in recognition of their service. Present were a number of officials including the AMISOM Chief of Staff, Brig. Cyprien Ndikuriyo, who represented the AMISOM Acting Force Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammedesha Zeyinu.

Brig Ndikuriyo also praised the Burundian Contingent for their selfless efforts in fighting terrorists and securing Somalia.

“On behalf of the Acting Force Commander and indeed on my own behalf, I would like to appreciate and recognise all your efforts you put in to overcome challenges and the role you played in ensuring the return of peace to the Horn of Africa country, to the continent and the whole world at large,” Brig. Ndikuriyo said.

Colonel Frédéric Ndayisaba, the Deputy Sector 5 Commander, reiterated the Burundi will continue helping the Federal Government of Somalia stabilise the country.

“We are going to continue our mission of supporting the Federal Government of Somalia in its praiseworthy efforts to fight Al-Shabaab insurgents. The offensive against Al-Shabaab in our sector, in coordination with Somali National Army (SNA), will go on,” said Col. Ndayisaba.

The Deputy Ambassador of Burundi to Somalia, Aimable Burundi, pledged the support of his country in the international efforts to fight terrorism, noting that the Governments of Burundi and Somalia have signed a cooperation agreement, including a Memorandum of Understanding in defence cooperation.

Ambassador Madeira also conveyed a message from the Chairperson of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who expressed gratitude to Burundi for contributing to building peace and security in Somalia.

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