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Government calls for more Italian involvement in AMISOM

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th June 2015 10:03 PM

The Italian government can play a more central role in the pacification of war torn Somalia by supporting efforts tailored to building capacity of the Somalia National Forces (SNF), state minister for finance, Dr. Gabriel Ajedra has said.

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The Italian government can play a more central role in the pacification of war torn Somalia by supporting efforts tailored to building capacity of the Somalia National Forces (SNF), state minister for finance, Dr. Gabriel Ajedra has said.

By Moses Walubiri & Nicholas Kajoba

The Italian government can play a more central role in the pacification of war torn Somalia by supporting efforts tailored to building capacity of the Somalia National Forces (SNF), state minister for finance, Dr. Gabriel Ajedra has said.

Italy is already playing a significant role in international efforts aimed at bringing peace to Somalia through contributing to salaries of the 11,000 strong force under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISON).

During celebrations to mark the 69th anniversary of the Italian National Day on Tuesday, Ajedra, who is also Arua Municipality MP, credited the Italian government for its contribution towards the AMISOM salaries  and called for its deeper involvement in the peace keeping mission.

 "Uganda would wish that the Italian government extends its engagement with AMISOM to such areas as capacity building of the SNF and strengthening the command and control systems within the (SNF)," Ajedra said at a function attended by a considerable number of members and friends of the Italian community in Uganda.

AMISOM is a peace keeping mission operated by the African Union in Somalia with the approval of the United Nations Organization.  

Currently, Uganda and Burundian soldiers form its 22,126 contingent battling the Islamic Somali militant group, Al- Shabaab.

It is mandated to support transitional governmental structures, implement a national security plan, train the Somali security forces, and to assist in creating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Earlier, underscoring the importance of the "cordial" relationship between Uganda and Italy, Ajedra extolled Italy's increased investment in Uganda's agro-processing industry "exemplified by the $20m (about sh60b) investment in coffee and fruit growing by the President of the European Techno group."

Ajedra noted that over 20 Italian companies are actively conducting business in Uganda.

Simba Telecom and Building Energy SPA - a Ugandan-Italian consortium – is investing $18m (about sh54b) in a solar power project in Tororo, while another Italian firm, Salini, helped in Bujagali dam construction.

Italian envoy, Domenico Fornara, highlighted the cordial relationship between the two countries stretching back to the early 1900 when a group of Italians became the first people to scale the peak of Mt. Rwenzori.

A recent arrival, Fornara lauded government of Uganda for steering a country from its "difficult past" to a new status as "a respected and stable country playing a crucial role in international peace and security."

He hailed Italian NGOs for being part of development agencies in terms of industrial projects and infrastructures.

"The establishment of Business club Italia in Uganda will play a pivotal role in increasing our economic relations with all business stakeholders," Domenico said.

The Italian National Day and Republic Day is celebrated on 2 June each year.

The day commemorates the institutional referendum held by universal suffrage in 1946, in which the Italian people were called to the polls to decide on the form of government, following the Second World War and the fall of Fascism.  

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Government calls for more Italian involvement in AMISOM

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