The new President of the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic Sheikh Ahmed Sharif is expected to pay a state visit to Rwanda and meet with President Paul Kagame, government officials have confirmed.
According to a press statement from the Office of the President, the Somali head of state will be in the country for a two-day state visit and was supposed to have arrived in the country last night.
“President Ahmed is scheduled to hold talks with President Kagame at Urugwiro Village on Monday (today) and will tour Gako Military Academy during his visit,” reads the statement in part.
He is also scheduled to visit the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre and the Mandela Peace Village in Bugesera District Eastern Province.
The statement says that Rwanda has in the recent past provided training to Somali armed forces to assist efforts to build national security capacity.
President Ahmed comes to Rwanda after similar visits to Burundi, Kenya and Uganda.
While in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, he said that he would promote security in his country and lobby for support from other regional countries.
“I will do everything within my powers to restore stability and ensure we get regional support,” he said.
While in Kampala, the President discussed with his counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, different topics, including the work of African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) in Mogadishu.
“The Somali President asked his Ugandan counterpart for help in rebuilding government institutions in Somalia after 18 years of war,” the Somali Ambassador in Kampala told journalists.
The Somali leader’s talks in Burundi also focused on humanitarian aid and AMISOM peacekeepers.
The 4,000-people strong AMISOM force is composed of Ugandan and Burundian soldiers. They have recently sustained attacks from Somali insurgents.
President Ahmed, the 9th President of the Somali Republic and former Commander in Chief of the Islamic Courts Union, was elected to succeed former President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed on 31 January 2009 and sworn in the same day in Djibouti.