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Somali, Ugandan leaders discussed over security, offensive

By Tom Mugisha, tom.mugisha@alleastafrica.com

KAMPALA – Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni discussed on Sunday the need to heighten security in Mogadishu following the deadly terror attack that left 358 people dead in Mogadishu.

According to the statement issued by State House, the two leaders held bilateral talks. “They held talks on matters of mutual interests affecting both countries,” the statement sent by State House statement said on Monday.

Government sources say the two leaders discussed the planned drawdown of African Union troops in Somalia scheduled to start next year.

According to the statement issued by State House, the two leaders held bilateral talks. “They held talks on matters of mutual interests affecting both countries,” the statement sent by State House statement said on Monday.

Uganda has the highest number of troops with over 6,000 soldiers out of the current total of 22,000 peacekeepers.  The withdrawal is supposed to start next year but it’s not clear whether the Somalia National Army will have built capacity to stand on its own.

Uganda deployed its troops  in Somalia in 2007, the first of several troop contingents from the region in the African Union-mandated AMISOM force formed to combat al Shabaab Islamist militants, who had established a power base in the Horn of African country.

In 2010, Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for twin bombings in Kampala that killed 76 people, which it called a punishment for Uganda’s troop deployment in Somalia.

Despite being pushed out of its key strongholds, the group remains a potent and deadly threat.

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