Security has been heightened up in Mogadishu as Somalia is set to host the 53rd summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) the coming weekend.
This is the first high level summit to be held in Somalia for more than 30 years following instability caused by the Al Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab in the country.
The summit is set to focus on political and security gains made in Somalia even as the country gears up to the elections in October 2016. The summit will also address the shaky political crisis in South Sudan.
Leaders from Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Uganda are expected to attend the summit.
Somalia’s Foreign Minister Abdisalam Omer Hadliye said hosting of IGAD summit will a milestone and indicative that ‘Somalia is coming back’
The minister also noted security concerns citing Al-Shabaab terrorist group destabilizing the security of Somalia and also of other country in the region.
Heavy security is underway to tighten the security, to seal all loopholes and make sure the significant summit takes place successfully Hadliye said.
IGAD in Eastern Africa was founded in 1996 with aim respond to the region’s emergency crisis.
Somalia also is being supported by a 22,000 strong force from African Union mandated in assisting the Federal government in fighting Al-Shabaab terrorists, providing security for the country’s important establishments in an effort to bring back to stability.
Recently Somalia had top visits including Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who visited the country announced in May 2015. Western diplomats and top military also regularly visit Somalia.