Italy, US armies give food assistance to communities in AMISOM liberated areas
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has received seven tons of relief assistance from the Italian Contingent of the European Union Training Mission in Somalia, EUTM-S, the US Army Civil Affairs Team. The food will be distributed to vulnerable families and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Lower Shabelle region.
The EUTM-S Force Commander, Brig. Gen. Zinzone said essential support to vulnerable communities as part of their mission in Somalia. In addition, they were committed to assisting more communities battling climate shocks and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are a coalition that supports and works with the Somali people. It is fundamental for the Somali people to tell us what they need, and we will always be ready to help in whatever way we can,” said Brig. Gen. Zinzone, during the handover, was attended by various officials, including from the Somalia Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.
During the handover, AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in charge of Operations and Plans, Maj Gen. William Kitsao Shume, who represented the Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, commended the collaboration between different partners in supporting communities living within AMISOM’s area of responsibility.
“Your generous donation has allowed AMISOM, in conjunction with the Federal Government of Somalia and the South West State, to help make sure the vulnerable people do not go hungry,” said Maj. Gen. Shume.
“I am glad that you recognize the significant role of AMISOM’s provision of relief assistance in Somalia, and I hope that this constructive partnership with you can continue,” added Maj. Gen. Shume.
Col. Bruce Terry of the US Army Civil Affairs Unit said it is through the support and collaboration of the international partners that Somalia’s challenges will be overcome.
“Let us each take pride in the part played by our organizations in assisting Somalia, and also for the collective action that continues this endeavor that our nations have sent us to fight and win,” said Col. Terry.
In her remarks, the Somalia Federal Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Khadija Diriye, applauded AMISOM and partners for coming to the aid of vulnerable communities.
“AMISOM has on numerous occasions supported the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in responding to various humanitarian needs of our people. All of us very much appreciate these efforts in helping vulnerable communities in your areas of responsibility,” said Minister Khadija.
The Governor of Lower Shabelle, Abdikadir Murshid Sidi, said due to increased community policing and better working relationships between locals and security agencies, Al-Shabaab has now resorted to sabotaging main supply routes in a bid to curtail humanitarian response.
“Since there are no more hiding places for them and there is more collaboration between the security forces and the public, the terrorist group has resorted to targeting civilian populations,” noted governor Abdikadir.
“I would like to commend the international community for standing with the people of Southwest State,” he added.
According to the Federal Government of Somalia, the impact of the flooding, desert locust, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed 2.7 million people across the country towards a major humanitarian emergency.