MOGADISHU (Xinhua) --
Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said Saturday
security has been beefed up in Mogadishu and its environs ahead of
the regional summit to be held on on Sept. 13.
leaders from the eight members of the Inter-Governmental Authority
on Development (IGAD) bloc - Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia,
South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda - are expected to attend the summit.
The summit is expected to focus on political and security
progress made in Somalia and the forthcoming in-direct elections
planed for September and October. The summit will also focus on ways
to bring an end to the conflict in South Sudan.
"Mogadishu town will host the IGAD summit next week and that that
is why the security in the capital is tightened, I request the
people to work with the security forces to ensure success of the
summit," he told journalists in Nairobi.
Although the Al-Qaida allied militant group, Al-Shabaab had been
forced out of Mogadishu, it is still carrying out attacks on
government, and public places including the Africa Union bases.
"Security forces will increase patrols around the city and I wish
to urge Somalis to show patience as the town hosts international
level meeting," he said.
Somali Foreign Minister Abdisalam Omar Hadliye said the meeting
will be the first of IGAD Heads of States and Government to be held
in Somali capital Mogadishu after more than two decades of conflict.
"IGAD Summit will take place in Mogadishu on Sept. 13. It is
great opportunity for Somalia to host such meeting because the
country has never hosted international level meetings since 1974,
and AU head of States had a summit in Mogadishu at that time,"
Hadliye said earlier.
The minister however decried security concerns citing Al-Shabaab
terrorist group which has been fighting to topple the Western-backed
He said heavy security is underway to enhance the security, seal
all loopholes and make sure the significant summit takes place
About 22,000 strong force from the African Union are mandated to
assist the Somali government in fighting Al-Shabaab terrorists,
providing security for the country’s important establishments in an
effort to bring back to stability.