Somalia kicks off process to integrate moderate Islamic group into army

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-05 18:33:50|Editor: Xiaoxia
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MOGADISHU, July 5 (Xinhua) -- The Somali government has launched an exercise to integrate forces of moderate Islamic group Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a (ASWJ) into the Somali security forces.

Hassan Ali Khaire, prime minister of Somalia who launched the exercise in Dhusamareb, the capital of the Galmudug State in Somalia on Thursday evening called on the integrated ASWJ forces to join in efforts to defend their state and Somalia.

"Your government stands with you. We will not tire, we will not despair and we will not be cowed until we make sure that political stability is achieved in Galmudug," Khaire said according to a statement issued on Friday by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The ASWJ militants who are opposed to al-Shabab militant group but sympathetic to the central government, will be integrated into the security agencies that include the army, police, intelligence service, and custodial corps.

Khaire said the integration, which involves capturing an individual's biometrics, supports efforts to build active Somali Security Forces.

The ASWJ forces based in Dhusamareb is responsible for kicking the al-Shabab extremist group from most parts of the region. In December 2017, ASWJ signed a power-sharing agreement with the state administration.

Francisco Madeira, special representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia and head of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), described the process as a milestone in reconciliation efforts.

"This initiative is a clear testament that the journey to unity, integration, and reconciliation is in full swing. We are leaving this place assured that Somalia's future is bright. Somalia is on the path to overcoming challenges," he said.

Mohamed Ali Guyo, IGAD special envoy for Somalia, appealed to all stakeholders in Galmudug State to support initiatives that promote peace, reconciliation and stability.

"We look forward to an inclusive process, accommodating all forces that can take the fight to al-Shabab and recover the remaining areas," Guyo said.