The head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Ambassador Francisco Madeira met with the President of Jubbaland Ahmed Mohamed Islam Madobe in Kismayo on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming elections in the state and planned operations to secure the main supply routes in the region.
The Somali federal state is scheduled to hold elections in August.
Sheikh Ahmed Islam Madobe has led Jubbaland, the region in Somalia closest to the border with Kenya, since 2013.
Ambassador Madeira expressed his confidence that the August 2019 elections were going to be free, fair, peaceful, and transparent.
“I assured President Madobe of the availability of AMISOM to support the holding of peaceful elections. We will not interfere in the elections. Our mission is to empower the Somalis in all aspects, so that they eventually take charge of their own security,” Ambassador Madeira told journalists after the meeting.
Madeira also denied reports that AMISOM troops had withdrawn from securing Kismayo Airport, the troops were in place and the airport was secure.
President Madobe said he had appointed a team of local officials to ensure that the August election was delivered as planned.
“We agreed that the Jubbaland Security Forces are capable of securing the elections. We share the view that providing police and security for the elections is the primary responsibility of Jubbaland,” Madobe said.
Madobe also said that their talks focused on the resumption of joint operations to secure the Kismayo-Afmadow Road and the Kambsuma Road.
According to officials, the primary focus of the elections are long-term goals such as development, reconciliation and institution building.