Gen. Wamala advises on Somali crisis

Published: March 25, 2010

THE commander of the land forces, Lt. Gen. Katumba Wamala, yesterday said increasing the number of troops in Somalia will not solve the crisis in the war torn nation. He instead appealed for a more holistic approach to the Somali problem.
Speaking at the opening of a consultative assessment workshop for the African Union (AU) in support of the transitional federal government of Somalia, Wamala said the problem in the country was more than just the issue of troops.
“For those who think the solution to Somalia’s problem is just guns, they are mistaken. The problem is not the number of guns, the problem is failed institutions and what is needed is a holistic approach to the problem,” he said.
Under the multi-prolonged approach, Katumba Wamala said there was need to tackle the security issue alongside building state institutions, which he said are almost non-existent due to two decades of insurgency.
“We cannot think of sending more soldiers when other arms of government are not functional. We need to improve the arms of the state,” he said.
Participants included the Soma li minister for labour and human resource, Mohamed Abdi Hayir, Wafula Wamunyinyi from the AU commission for Somalia and the Somali ambassador to Uganda, Sayid Ahmed Dahir.
The workshop also established what is needed for the effective running of crucial ministries and offices in Somalia and to ensure local ownership of the process.
The crucial ministries included that of defence, national security, internal affairs, public service, finance and the office of the prime minister.
The ultimate aim is to improve service delivery in crucial areas and it is hoped that this will provide the necessary catalyst for peace and stability.
Hayir hailed Uganda and Burundi for having sent troops to Mogadishu, saying the problem in Somalia was more than just a Somali issue and called for external intervention by other Africa states.
He urged the two countries to maintain their troops in the country, saying his government still lacked the capacity to work alone.
Wamunyinyi lashed out at the numerous conferences and workshops that have been held in the name of addressing the Somalia problem but with no solutions.
“We are no longer interested in conferences that bear no results and this is particularly true for people dealing with the Somali crisis,” he said.3

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